Eugene Smith Memorial Fund announces 2022 judges

Eugene Smith Memorial Fund announces 2022 judges

The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund announced the judges for its 2022 annual grants including the W. Eugene Smith grant, Howard Chapnick grant, and W. Eugene Smith Student grant. This year’s judges include Eli Reed, an internationally renowned photojournalist, Magnum member, and W. Eugene Smith grant recipient; Naveen Kishore, founder of Seagull Books, The Seagull Foundation for the Arts, and Seagull School of Publishing; Akinbode Akinbiyi, a photographer, curator, writer and co-curator of this year’s Rencontres de Bamako (African Photography Encounters); NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati, co-founder and Artistic Director of, Nepal Picture Library, and Photo Kathmandu; Whitney Matewe, photo editor at TIME; and Emmeline Yong, co-founder and director of Objectifs. Members of the Smith Fund board of trustees including Michelle Dunn Marsh (W. Eugene Smith grant), John Fleetwood (Howard Chapnick grant), and Noelle Flores Théard (W. Eugene Smith Student grant) have been chosen by their board colleagues to serve as jury Chairs for their respective grant categories.

The W. Eugene Smith Fund will continue accepting applications for all grants through May 31, 2022 (11:59 EDT). The Smith Memorial Fund currently presents $65,000 annually to documentary photographers around the world and has presented more than $1.1 million in grants and fellowships since it was founded in 1979.

The Smith Fund will return to its tradition of a single award of $40,000 for the W. Eugene Smith grant. An additional $5,000 will be awarded as a Fellowship to one of the applicants, and two finalists deemed worthy of special recognition will each be given a grant of $2,500.

“Each year, The Smith Fund invites renowned industry leaders to select grant recipients from hundreds of incredible projects. This year’s judges represent a global view, and a vision of excellence in considering documentary photography, as the Smith Fund has maintained since its inception,” said Scott Thode, president of the Smith Fund.

Eugene Smith Memorial Grant

Michelle Dunn Marsh, co-founder of the collaborative publishing platform Minor Matters, who has also held leadership positions with Photographic Center Northwest, Aperture Foundation, and Chronicle Books, will Chair this year’s adjudication panel, which includes award-winning photojournalist Eli Reed, and Naveen Kishore, founder of Seagull Books.

The Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography is traditionally presented annually to a single photographer whose past work and proposed project follow the tradition of W. Eugene Smith’s humanistic photography and dedicated compassion as a photographic essayist.

Naveen Kishore lives in Calcutta, India, and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature in 1973 and began working as a theatre lighting designer. He established Seagull Books—a publishing program in the arts and media focusing on drama, film, art and culture studies, in 1982. Today, it also publishes literature, including poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. In 1987 Kishore established The Seagull Foundation for the Arts, and through it set up The Seagull School of Publishing in 2012. Kishore is a writer, and a photographer who has extensively documented female impersonators from Manipuri, Bengali and Punjabi theatre practices.

Eli Reed lives in Austin, Texas and has photographed world news events for over forty years. He joined Magnum Photos in 1983, becoming a full member in 1988. Reed was also Professor of Photojournalism at the University of Texas at Austin from 2005 to 2021. In addition to his photography published in most major newspapers and magazines throughout the United States, he has photographed approximately thirty feature, documentary, and cable network films. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Documentary Photography, the Leica Medal of Excellence, and in 2021 the Gordon Parks Choice of Weapon Award. Four monographs of his photographs have been published, and his work has been extensively exhibited.

Howard Chapnick Grant

John Fleetwood is a photography curator and educator, director of Photo: (Johannesburg) and co-head of Photography at the Royal Academy of Arts (KABK, The Hague). From 2002-2015 Fleetwood was the director of the Market Photo Workshop. He is also a Smith Fund board member and will Chair this year’s jury for the 26th annual Howard Chapnick Grant. This grant is not intended for the creation of new work by photographers, but for those who support them. The $10,000 grant, which honors the memory of Howard Chapnick from the Black Star picture agency and his enormous contributions to photography, can be used by the recipient to finance a range of qualified undertakings including, but not limited to, special research, a long-term sabbatical project, or internship.

Akinbode Akinbiyi was born in Oxford, England of Nigerian parents and is a freelance photographer, curator and writer based in Berlin. His primary photographic focus is large, sprawling megacities and he is often seen wandering and meandering the highways and byways in an attempt to understand and deeply engage with the modern metropolis. He walks and works primarily in and on the four major African cities Lagos, Cairo, Kinshasa and Johannesburg, but also wanders in other major cities, Khartoum, Addis Ababa, Dakar, Bamako, to name some. He was included in the Documenta 14 exhibitions, which took place in Athens and Kassel. He is the co-curator for the Rencontres de Bamako 2022.

NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati lives in Kathmandu, Nepal and works at the intersections of visual storytelling, research, pedagogy, and collective action. She is the co-founder and Artistic Director of, Nepal Picture Library and Photo Kathmandu – platforms that work towards creating learning opportunities and other resources for visual storytellers. NayanTara chaired the 2021 World Press Photo Contest Jury and is a 2020-2022 Jane Lombard Fellow, presented by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, The New School, New York.

Smith Fund Student Grant

Noelle Flores Théard is a senior digital photo editor at The New Yorker, part-time faculty in the BFA photo program at Parsons, and co-founder of FotoKonbit, a non-profit organization created in 2010 to engage, educate, and support Haitians in the telling of their own stories through photography. She is also a Smith Fund board member and will Chair this year’s grant. Now in its fifth year, the Smith Fund Student Grant was created to encourage students to utilize the photographic medium as a form of humanistic observation and social activism. Joining Noelle Flores Théard on the adjudication panel are Whitney Matewe, Photo Editor at TIME (U.S.), and Emmeline Yong, the co-founder and director of Objectifs, a visual arts space in Singapore that focuses on film and photography and their value to society. The $5,000 grant provides a special category for all collegiate-level students (photo and non-photo majors) to submit their documentary photography and tell their stories.

Emmeline Yong is the co-founder and director of Objectifs, a visual arts space in Singapore that focuses on film and photography and their value to society. Since its establishment in 2003, Objectifs has aimed to cultivate original voices in visual storytelling, and to inspire and broaden perspectives through the power of images with a year-round program of exhibitions, screenings, residencies, talks and workshops.

Whitney Hollington Matewe is a queer visual storyteller of color, and photo editor, producer and creative currently at TIME Magazine. Previously she was a photo editor at National Geographic magazine, The New Yorker, The Intercept and several Condé Nast publications creating work for GQ, Teen Vogue, and others.

Finalists in all categories will be announced in July and grant recipients will be announced in October 2022.