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Annual Howard Chapnick Grant of $5,000 was presented to David J. Spear and the Two Eagle River School
NEW YORK, NY - October 17, 2012 - The Board of Trustees of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund announced that Brooklyn, New York photographer Peter van Agtmael is the recipient of the prestigious 2012 W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography for Disco Night September 11, an American view of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The project earned Mr. van Agtmael a $30,000 grant to continue focussing on these wars, subjects that otherwise would be difficult to finance.
In addition, Massimo Berruti from Italy received a $5,000 W. Eugene Smith Fellowship for his documentary, The Dusty Path, which looks at Pakistan, a one-time peaceful nation now caught up in violence and political corruption..."a trembling giant on the brink of a deep abyss," as Massimo Berruti describes it.
In addition to the W. Eugene Smith Grant and Fellowship awards, the annual Howard Chapnick Grant of $5,000 was presented to David J. Spear and the Two Eagle River School, a tribal middle and high school on the Flathead Reservation in Montana, (USA) for "Our Community Record." The project was created as a way for the students to connect with their community by documenting their culture and history through photography.
Smith Grant recipients were selected from entries received from more than 43 countries.
Now in its 33rd year, the continued interest and demand for photographic grants is a great testament to W. Eugene Smith, a true pioneer in exploring the human condition and exposing the truth with his camera. Established in 1979, its primary purpose is to support and encourage photographers producing humanistic photo stories in the style of the legendary American photojournalist who sought to expose the truth about issues affecting and afflicting humankind.
An exhibit of Spear's Butte photographs opens at the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art November 29, 2012.