The Winner of This Year’s W. Eugene Smith $30,000 Pictures Grant

Ora Sawyers

The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund declared that photographer Irina Werning from Argentina is this year’s recipient of its $30,000 grant for Humanistic Photography for her undertaking Las Pelilargas.

Considering that 1979, the Smith Fund says that it has awarded in excess of $1.3 million to photographers for their earlier function or proposed jobs, subsequent in the tradition of W. Eugene Smith’s job as a photographic essayist.

“The W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Images is offered each year to a photographer whose earlier function and proposed task, as judged by a panel of experts, follows the tradition of W. Eugene Smith’s dedicated compassion and humanistic tactic to his subjects during his occupation as a photographic essayist,” the Smith Fund states. “Past recipients have bundled Maxim Dondyuk (2022), Nicolò Filippo Rosso (2021), Sabiha Çimen (2020), Mark Peterson (2018), Krisanne Johnson (2011), Stanley Greene (2004), Graciela Iturbide (1987), Donna Ferrato (1985), and Eugene Richards (1981).”

Irina Werning photography

Irina Werning photography

Irina Werning photography

Now in its 44th calendar year, the W. Eugene Smith Fund’s large $30,000 grant in “humanistic photography” was awarded to Werning who has been seeking and photographing ladies in Argentina with very long hair — a model that is affected by a blend of South American cultures and indigenous traditions — due to the fact 2006.

Ms. Werning’s challenge was selected from about 448 entries — the most in the grant’s history — from 68 countries.

The target of the grant is to support Werning in completing the last chapter of her very long-phrase task and let her to return to the towns she visited early on and doc the impact of globalization on neighborhood traditions while at the similar time celebrating the resilience and elegance of their heritage.

Irina Werning photography

Irina Werning photography

Irina Werning photography
IRINA 1

“News that I had been given this year’s W. Eugene Smith Grant arrived just when I was about to conclude this personalized undertaking because of to a absence of funds!” Werning claims. “I think that pictures has a obligation to document conflict but also to capture the hope and natural beauty in humanity. The grant now presents me the option to go further into the story and address some of the questions that emerged throughout this 17-12 months journey. I am so grateful for this honor.”

Irina Werning photography

Irina Werning photography

“Irina’s undertaking, I believe, represents what the W. Eugene Smith legacy and the fund by itself stands for, which is a photographer’s commitment and stubbornness in pursuing the function above the many years and in opposition to all odds,” Justyna Mielnikiewicz, a person of this year’s Smith Grant judges and recipient of the 2016 Smith Grant, claims.

“But it is also the particular attachment and duty a photographer will take for people and areas they doc. Irina absolutely shown that in her project.”

Irina Werning photography

Irina Werning photography

Amplified funding allowed the W. Eugene Smith Fund to offer additional grants this year: a $10,000 W. Eugene Smith Fellowship, a $5,000 Leonian Finalist Grant, and a $3,000 W. Eugene Smith Student Grant won by Myriam Boulos, Fabian Ritter, and Oyewole Lawal, respectively. On Tuesday, March 26th (from 12:30-1:30 PM ET) the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund will host a Zoom conference to honor past grant recipients. The Zoom connect with will feature presentations from Maxim Dondyuk (2022 grant recipient) and Irina Werning (2023 grant recipient), among other previous grant recipients. The digital awards ceremony can be accessed through the Smith Fund’s internet site.


Image credits: Irina Werning, Courtesy of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund

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