Sarah Blesener is a New York-based documentary photographer who will be working with Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting to address growing nationalism among youth in the U.S. during her fellowship year.
Of the fellowship selection process, Amy Pyle of Reveal wrote us, "All of the candidates were amazingly talented and driven; it was a tough decision. Sarah stood out for the review committee largely because of the uniqueness of her story proposal and how well it fits into some other areas of coverage we have in the works. None of us had ever heard of these nationalist youth programs and camps and we simply were dying to know more. The fact that she already had calendared her summer, including gaining approval to photography at several camps, made it clear she had the moxie and organization to pull it off."
See more images from Sarah's ongoing work, "Toy Soldiers," below, which examines patriotic education and ideology in Russia.
Follow along with Sarah during her fellowship year here and check back soon for more news.
Sarah Blesener: Biography
Sarah Blesener was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She studied Linguistics and Youth Development at North Central University. While at university, she worked as a photographer for the organization Healing Haiti based in Port au Prince, Haiti, covering events surrounding the 2010 earthquake. Upon graduation in 2012, she studied at Bookvar Russian Academy in Minneapolis, concentrating on the Russian language. She is a recent graduate of the Visual Journalism and Documentary Practice program at the International Center of Photography in New York. Her latest work revolves around issues of youth culture and movements, focusing on Russia, Eastern Europe and the United States.