CatchLight is pleased to announce their 2018 fellows: Carlos Javier Ortiz, Aida Muluneh, and Andrea Bruce. In its second year, the fellowship program continues to recognize photographers for their excellence in depicting visual stories of crucial issues — ideally motivating action for social change.
Each Fellow will receive a $30,000 grant and will be paired with a CatchLight media partner to complete their proposed project that builds upon past work, demonstrates measurable social awareness and expands understanding of how visual art can be used to communicate vital social issues. The 2018 media partners include The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and two additional partners who will be selected to best support the fellows’ projects. This year’s fellows were selected from more than 300 proposals for consideration from 52 countries with an even gender split. Click here to learn more about the CatchLight Fellowship.
Carlos Javier Ortiz
In light of recent high-profile shootings in Sacramento, the rest of the state and the country, Carlos Javier Ortiz’s project Between the Lines presents an examination of the Ferguson Effect, while exploring aspects of trust surrounding police-citizen relations. The artist will create a visual ethnographic short-film that offers an unprecedented look into the lives of residents of Del Paso Heights and South Sacramento affected by the recent spike in violent crimes, and how they negotiate their lives with the police and community.
In creating an expansive workshop and mentorship program, Aida Muluneh seeks to support and promote emerging African photographers in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Italy. As she attempts to interrogate the foreign gaze and also to raise the awareness of the impact of photography in shaping cultural perceptions, participating students will develop their own stories based on what they are confronted with in their own countries, historically or through current depictions in the media. Through these her program, Muluneh will also be producing her own collection that explores the relationship between history and images in Africa.
Andrea Bruce’s project Our Democracy seeks to push people to look beyond politics and examine the social conditions that underpin our society, providing a visual record of the state of local democracy at this moment in U.S. history. Throughout the fellowship, Bruce will move and immerse herself in a different community each month, and use visual and audio storytelling to explore experiences and thoughts on contemporary democracy in the United States using Alexis de Tocqueville’s route studying democracy in the mid-1800s. The project also unfolds online, where it will be combined with an interactive map of the journey with multimedia content and data about the community’s social and political involvement.