Rather than awarding $40,000 to a single photographer, this year’s W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography is doing something different: it will award five photographers each with $10,000.
The W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund has been supporting photographers engaged in compassionate photojournalism since 1979. The global pandemic prompted it to modify its approach for 2020, preferring to spread its annual Eugene Smith Grant between several photographers rather than awarding it to an individual. It’s now doing the same for 2021 with submissions closing at the end of May.
Applications are not cheap, unfortunately — $50, and the date for applying for a waiver has now passed. You’ll need to send a biography of 250 words, a project description of around 600 words, and up to 40 images that demonstrate your vision and capacity to deliver your project.
Last year saw a number of photographers receive grants, including Andrés Cardona whose has produced a body of work that examines the impact of violence in Colombia on his family. The fund also supported Sabiha Çimen’s study of girls at conservative Quran boarding schools in Turkey, documenting their daily lives as they undergo their religious studies.
Students can apply for the W. Eugene Smith Grant for Student Photographers which offers $5,000 to undertake a single photographic essay. Submissions also close at the end of May.
Lead image is public domain: Photographed by War Correspondent Smith. Torpedo dropped by pilot Lt. Paul Eugene Dickson.