Rena Effendi was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, and grew up in the USSR, witnessing her country’s path to independence—one marred by war, political instability, and economic collapse. From the outset, Effendi focused her photography on issues of conflict, social justice, and the oil industry’s effect on people and the environment. From 2002 to 2008, Effendi followed a 1,700-kilometer pipeline through Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey documenting the impact this multibillion-dollar project had on impoverished farmers, fishermen, and other citizens. This six-year journey became her first book Pipe Dreams: A Chronicle of Lives Along the Pipeline, published in 2009. The project received numerous awards, including a Getty Images Editorial grant, a Fifty Crows International Fund Award, a Magnum Foundation Caucasus Photographer Award, and a Mario Giacomelli Memorial Fund Award. In 2012, Effendi published her second monograph “Liquid Land”, where her images of Baku are paired with photographs of perished butterflies hunted by her father, a Soviet entomologist, who collected more than 30,000 butterflies in Soviet Union. “Liquid Land” punctuates the theme of fragility and environmental decay of her native city.
Over the past 10 years, Effendi has covered stories in the post-Soviet region, as well as in Turkey and Iran, including the 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict, women victims of heroin and sex trafficking in Kyrgyzstan, and the hidden lives of youth in Tehran. In 2011, she received the Prince Claus Fund Award for Cultural Development and moved to Cairo. In 2012, Effendi was short-listed for the Prix-Pictet Global Award for Photography and Sustainability, for her series documenting life of the survivors of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Effendi’s involvement with World Press Photo goes back to 2005, when she was a participant in the Joop Swart Masterclass. In 2012, she was a selector for, and later contributor to the organization’s Reporting Change project. In 2014 Rena Effendi won 2nd and 3rd places in Observed Portrait Stories and Observed Potrait Singles categories of the World Press Photo Contest.
On paper Eivind H. Natvig was the epitome of the young, up-and-coming photojournalist; he spent years traveling all over the world with his camera, visiting countries such as Libya, Nepal, Brazil, Qatar, Bangladesh, Iceland, and India. His photographs were revered far beyond the norwegian borders. He photographed people making their mark on the landscape aswell as being part of it, people at work and play, wealthy people, poor people. Over the years Natvig captured our species and our mark on the Earth in innumerable ways: triumphs and defeats, everyday life and celebrations. Until he lost his spark.
In january 2010, in a dormitory in Dhaka, Natvig felt overwhelmed by photo-fatigue, or perhaps an overexposure to images. His eyes had seen too much, and he lost his enthusiasm for taking pictures. What can one do to reignite the interest to keep working? Natvig started by making a series of images in Dhaka using the most primitive of all cameras: a pinhole camera (this series was later turned into a book in collaboration with poet Gro Dahle). Then he returned home.
Natvig´s images linger somewhere in-between the genres of documentary and fine art. The series Du Er Her No (You Are Here Now) depicts Norway in this realm, but through the eyes of both the person who left and the person who returned. He shows Norway as both an exotic ands strange place, but at the same time somewhere mundane or trivial. The images have something both for the enthusiastic tourist and the native suffering from wanderlust. The images are full of juxtapositions – they refuse to make a stand or to take sides. But then again, it might not be a question of taking sides
Natvig currently divide his time between working on long-term projects and a life in the mountains and on the ocean.
He resides in the Lofoten Archipelago
Danielle Villasana is an independent photojournalist with a passion for issues on gender, identity, social politics and health. She is currently a member of the Emerging Talent Roster at Getty Images Reportage.
Before double-majoring in photojournalism and Spanish at the University of Texas, Danielle traveled through more than thirty countries in Europe and West Africa, photographing along the way. After meeting a photojournalist in Ghana, she realized that photography combined with discovery, cross-cultural communication and a desire to spread awareness about global issues equates to journalism. A lightbulb went off and she quickly headed back home to begin her studies.
Throughout her time as a student, Danielle photographed for The Daily Texan and the Austin American-Statesman as an intern. In 2012, she received the Helen M. Powell Traveling Fellowship and in 2013, she studied abroad in Lima, Peru, where she was a photography intern at El Comercio. In the fall of 2013 she attended the Eddie Adams Workshop.
In 2014, Danielle co-founded Everyday Latin America on Instagram, which is part of the Everyday community founded by Peter DiCampo and Austin Merrill as a way to combat stereotypes in the media.
This Spring she taught photography to marginalized communities in Lima, Peru, through a US Embassy grant. In April she attended the New York Portfolio Review, sponsored by the New York Times Lens blog.
“A Light Inside,” Danielle’s long-term project on transgender women in Lima recently won the Magnum Foundation’s Inge Morath Award and was recognized by the Pride Photo Award and the International Photography Awards.
Most importantly, Danielle lives and works by the advice of her mentor Donna De Cesare: “You are a human being first and a journalist second.”
Yael Martinez is born and working as a freelance photographer in Mexico.
He has attended various workshops in Oaxaca with Mary Ellen Mark and presented his work in Mexico, Chile, Brasil, Colombia, Switzerland, USA and Spain.
Finalist in 2015 Eugene Smith Grant, 2nd runner up for World Press Photo MasterClass.
Selected as one of 12 participants in World Press Photo MasterClass Latin America 2016.
Anastasia Rudenko was born in the South-Kazakhstan region in 1982. At the age of 12, she moved to Russia with her parents. In 2009, she began taking photos inspired by experiences in her own family as a child. She began documenting families affected by domestic abuse, including members of her own family and people she met by following the police. Over the past two years, Rudenko has been exploring social issues in Russia (domestic violence, disabled children living in orphanages) and documenting life in her native Kazakhstan.
She is interested in a critical view of social and political issues in her works and dedicates most of her time to personal projects. Since autumn 2011, Rudenko has been represented by Reportage by Getty Images. She was selected for PDN’s list of 30 new and emerging photographers to watch in 2012. In the spring of 2012, she graduated from the Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia. Currently, she is working as a freelance photographer with Russian and international magazines and is based in Moscow.
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