Weddings in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the conflicting beauty and isolation of an Aerotropolis are just some of the images that winners of the Getty Images reportage grant have explored.
The yearly grant, worth $45k in total, awards front-line photojournalists from around the world for projects with a strong visual narrative. The winners are Miami-based Rose Marie Cromwell for _King of Fish_, which aims to bring attention to the effects of rapid globalisation on small communities, focusing on the community of Coco Solo in Panama and their clashes with police and government in the quest for successful relocation after housing authorities closed roads and sold land.
In Giulio Di Sturco’s Aerotropolis, The Way We Will Live Next, he explores modern loneliness and dislocation in urban centres and the rise of post-modern cities. In the images he details neat lines of people, against the clean, streamlined cityscapes. You might see a man slumped in the clinical confines of an airport chair or rows of students in a lecture hall, all finding beauty in the minutiae of everyday life.
Belgium photographer Leonard Pongo’s The Uncanny, beautifully captures daily life in the Democratic Republic of Congo through black and white images. From following local TV news teams on the ground, to covering weddings, parties, church services and locally relevant events, the project authentically depicts the Congolese experience.
Speaking on the 2018 recipients, Senior Vice President for Content, Ken Mainardis says: “Our 2018 Reportage Grant recipients demonstrate remarkable talent, as well as an unwavering passion for photojournalism. We are delighted to be able to support and foster this further, by brining these thought-provoking and important international issues to light – issues that without funding, may otherwise remain unseen.”
Spekaing about how she will use the grant, Rose Marie Cromwell tells It’s Nice That, “For the past ten years I have been photographing in Coco Solo, a community housed in old US Canal Zone barracks in Panama that lacked any basic infrastructure. From Coco Solo one could watch the wealth of the world pass by in container ships through the Panama Canal. "King of Fish” is the story of “Pocho”, a young man who lives in Coco Solo, coming into himself—sometimes childlike, at other times mature in an environment at times a natural paradise, at other times an oppressive dystopia".
“In 2016, after years of clamouring for government assistance, Coco Solo residents were moved to a new housing project. With the help of the Getty Grant I will photograph Pocho and other residents in the new community. I will also lead youth photography workshops, continue to gather historical records of Coco Solo, and combine this material with the photographs into a book. I believe in the power of individual stories to speak to global challenges.”