Open Society Documentary Photography Project Announces 2011 Grants to Organizations

The Open Society Documentary Photography Project has awarded grants to the following organizations through its Production Grant and Discretionary Grant programs. Each year, the Documentary Photography Project provides a limited number of grants to organizations that:

  • link documentary photography with strategic engagement on social justice or human rights issues;
  • provide production grants to photographers covering pressing human rights and social justice issues; or 
  • provide production grants or training to photographers from underrepresented regions or places that lack advanced-level training or professional opportunities.

    2011 Recipients

    Art Works Projects

    To provide general organizational support for two years. Art Works Projects (AWP) provides visual advocacy tools that produce action on human rights crises at the grassroots, media, and policy levels. AWP's exhibitions, books, recordings, films, and other initiatives provide opportunities for large numbers of people to engage in ending major human rights violations. $50,000 / 2 years

    Facing Change: Documenting America

    To support photographers to document the most pressing issues facing America today. Facing Change is a collective of award-winning photographers and writers founded in 2009 to document under-reported aspects of America’s most urgent issues, from health care to immigration to the cost of the war on terror.  $25,000 / 1 year


    HURIDOCS will work with Armenian photographer Hayk Bianjyan to create a digital archive of photographs and information related to the transformation of the city of Yerevan through eminent domain, evictions, compensation, and development. HURIDOCS will coordinate the digitizing and archiving of Bianjyan's work and conduct data management capacity building and outreach work to preserve this at-risk archive and help this photography project realize its future potential in advocacy campaigning. $25,000 / 1 year

    LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph

    To provide support for Festival of the Photograph’s LOOK3 photography festival held in Charlottesville, VA from June 9-26, 2011. LOOK3 is an annual photography festival that features exhibits and on-stage appearances of three featured photographers, as well as many exhibitions, outdoor screenings, and projections over three days and nights. $20,000 / 1 year

    Magnum Cultural Foundation

    To provide general operating support, as well as funds for the Emergency Fund and the NYU/Magnum Foundation summer program in Photography and Human Rights. $460,000 / 2 years

    Picha Mtaani

    To support Picha Mtaani’s new space, PAWA 254—a media resource center for training, exhibiting, and facilitating networking among photographers and other media makers in the service of social justice and human rights. Founded in 2009 by Kenyan photographer Boniface Mwangi, Picha Mtaani (a Swahili phrase meaning street photo gallery) began as a traveling exhibition of Mwangi’s photographs of the post-election violence in Kenya in 2007-2008. Mwangi aimed to foster healing and reflection as well as peace building and national reconciliation through photography, debate, and the involvement of young people in Kenya. $22,000 / 1 year

    W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund

    The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund awards two production grants annually and was created in 1979 to honor the memory of W. Eugene Smith, an American master photo essayist and journalist, by giving an annual production grant in documentary photography. $40,000 / 2 years