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2006 Inge Morath Award Winner

Lightstalkers member Jessica Dimmock won the 2006 Inge Morath Award with her work “”http://www.newyorkmetro.com/nymetro/news/features/14500/" target="_blank">The Heroin Den Next Door".

by [a former member] at 2006-07-02 13:59:12 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Vienna , Austria | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Well deserved, Jessica.

by Daniel Etter | 02 Jul 2006 17:07 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
fantastic she s the best …..

by Stephane Lehr | 02 Jul 2006 17:07 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
I like that! Congratulations!!!!!

by [former member] | 02 Jul 2006 20:07 | Katowice, Poland | | Report spam→
Great pictures yes, but another heroin story?! This territory has been explored ad nauseum. . . What does this work seek to accomplish?!

by Davin Ellicson | 02 Jul 2006 23:07 (ed. Jul 2 2006) | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
make better Davin we waitin" for

by Stephane Lehr | 03 Jul 2006 00:07 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
It’s just funny that pictures of drugs etc. continue to be what win! Even with th Ian Parry it was pictures of swingers! There is more to life than war, drugs and kinky sex (well maybe not the sex!)

by Davin Ellicson | 03 Jul 2006 00:07 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
sex and war the same ? no ????

by Stephane Lehr | 03 Jul 2006 00:07 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
Lehr,

No, they are not. I just mean that certain ‘edgy’ topics seem to be what win all the time!

by Davin Ellicson | 03 Jul 2006 00:07 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
David – I understand your point… I thought this same at the firsth moment – ANOTHER drug stiory.. but you know what – it’s a VERY GOOD one!

by [former member] | 03 Jul 2006 06:07 | Katowice, Poland | | Report spam→
americans go to afghanistan,heroin consumption in the ’west’’ rises again.surprised?

by Michael Bowring | 03 Jul 2006 08:07 | Belgrade, Serbia | | Report spam→
This also won a New York Times Contest as well… or at least it got an honorable mention. The first picture is a stunner.

by Jonathan Auch | 03 Jul 2006 22:07 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
Interesting points….if something has been done before should you try and shed new light on it? I would argue that yes, as photojournalists we shouldn’t be discouraged if something has been done before especially if that is where your passion lies. Someone once told me that just because it has been shot before means nothing because it hasn’t been shot by you.

love the story by the way, nice work.

by Matthew Williams | 03 Jul 2006 23:07 (ed. Jul 3 2006) | Ventura, California, United States | | Report spam→
Interesting points….if something has been done before should you try and shed new light on it? I would argue that yes, as photojournalists we shouldn’t be discouraged if something has been done before especially if that is where your passion lies. Someone once told me that just because it has been shot before means nothing because it hasn’t been shot by you.

by Matthew Williams | 03 Jul 2006 23:07 | Ventura, California, United States | | Report spam→
I agree that certain themes need to be revisited, but I feel that revisiting them should serve the purpose of reminding us that an issue is still an issue or looking at how the nature of an issue has changed. If the photography is fantastic and original as photography, but repeats the same content without considering how the context has changed, how the issue has or has not shifted, then is just pretty pictures. I am totally disillusioned looking at the winners for these contests. I agree with Davin, the topics of war, drugs, and kinky sex have been worked over so much by image makers that I don’t think it matters if you make good pictures of them when nothing new is added to the conversation.

by Ida | 06 Jul 2006 03:07 | Darjeeling, India | | Report spam→
I agree with Ida, completely….as i’ve written before here…I dont wish to take away from Jessica’s work (or award) because her story is strong, the work urgent and honest and yes, the images are horrible (in the most honest and profound sense): for that and her commitment to her story, I applaud her. However, it absolutely appears (especially in places like nyc, and other big photo “caps”, that these kinds of stories me “urgent witnessing”…as if squalor necessarily means more “truthful”…what i find demeaning is not the work (of course not), but the patronizing nomenclature of these kinds of awards: that invariably we (yes, let us call out ourselves as photographers) associate these “issue” stories with “raw/vulnerable” truth……but is lamentable (maybe im biased) but it seems like we, as a photographic community, associate “documentary” work with suffering: it is both: the sublime and the grotesque: the poverty and the richness of this passing life… Let us not forget that we live surrounded by most of the forgotten…while individually, this type of work IS (like all work) ESSENTIAL: why is it that we delude ourselves to equate squalor with valor (photographically speaking)…

but I think its fair we talk about this…especially in the context of a “contest” (remember, this is criticism about the judges/criteria for choice, and not an plight on the photographers per se (theyre young)….although, I find all these “contests” ridiculous (but that’s another topic ;)))) ),…jessica’s work is strong: though i only wish photographers (and the public) broached this dialogue more…im hip deep in writing an essay and working on a photoessya, but I would love to start (after july) a thread about this point…more words later….2 of the seminal images from my childhood (both, Pulitzer Prize winners) for me stand as an example of how imagery which contains both suffering and grandeur are equally critical: from the vietnam era:

http://www.rivieradesign.com/WSHS/EventsExhibits/Images/8.jpg

http://www.iraqwar.co.uk/kimphuc2.jpg

they couldnt be more different, and yet: inside both lay the twin (celebratory and damnable) counter-starpoints….

respectfully, bob

by [former member] | 06 Jul 2006 03:07 (ed. Jul 6 2006) | Toronto (home sweet), Canada | | Report spam→
I don’t like this kinda strange discussions. Time has changed,… drug addiction has changed.
What is the point?
Nan Goldin’s done different in this topic
Eugene Richards’ done different
NOW,, This young lady’s done different….. himmm may be not!!!
Give me different things that will show how you are different than others…..
cheers
ALI

by [former member] | 06 Jul 2006 04:07 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
p.s: Jessica, my comment was not meant to criticize you or your strong work: but was a critique of these contests (all of them) and then criterion/a with which they are judged and we as a photographic community tend to view “documentary” work. For your effort: some fine Scotch Single Malt!….:)))….and forgive my poorly written comment (im taking a break from another writing effort and im word-comatose ;))) )….bob

by [former member] | 06 Jul 2006 04:07 | Toronto (home sweet), Canada | | Report spam→
I think Jessica has done really great work. Actually, I was sort of amazed to see Magnum return to its origins a bit by giving this award for such a story in light of its recent direction à la Alec Soth (although I like his work too!) I think Jessica has brought something new—in terms of her particular style—to the drug addiction story. Davin.

by Davin Ellicson | 06 Jul 2006 04:07 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
bob;
your written comment is good and honest as always :))))
she’s done very well, I think.
Drug addiction goes from bad to worst every year that means we have to pay more attention every new day. World is busy with same issues since civilization begun.
WAR, MONEY, LOVE, BETRAYAL,ARROGANCE, ETC….
bests

by [former member] | 06 Jul 2006 04:07 | Toronto, Canada | | Report spam→
Personally, when I first saw the work it made me think of Luc Delahaye’s “Winterreise” meets Lise Sarfati’s environmental portraiture. . . although Jessica has something altogether different going on as well. Davin

by Davin Ellicson | 06 Jul 2006 04:07 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I feel like documentary photography (as an endeavor, as a community, as a dialogue) is working on depicting a few themes and they just keeps getting chewed over and over again. And I wonder to what purpose. The awards are encouraging it. Just because something like drug addiction is getting worse (though that statement needs to be qualified and questioned) does how we are depicting it, or rather our obsession with depicting it, really result in anything but more pictures of it? Maybe it does, but I remain skeptical.

by Ida | 06 Jul 2006 06:07 | Darjeeling, India | | Report spam→
I feel like documentary photography (as an endeavor, as a community, as a dialogue) is working on depicting a few themes and they just keeps getting chewed over and over again. And I wonder to what purpose. The awards are encouraging it. Just because something like drug addiction is getting worse (though that statement needs to be qualified and questioned) does how we are depicting it, or rather our obsession with depicting it, really result in anything but more pictures of it? Maybe it does, but I remain skeptical.

by Ida | 06 Jul 2006 06:07 | Darjeeling, India | | Report spam→
She is also the winner of the 1st Forma award pricegiving….20.000 euros! great body of work! And great luck!…lot’s of money to develop new projects!

Alessandra
Rome

by Alessandra Benedetti | 06 Jul 2006 13:07 | Rome, Italy | | Report spam→
Well, it remains to be seen how Jessica will expand upon her work here, now that she has been given no less than two documentary grants to continue the work. There is no comparing this essay with the work of Gene Richards in Cocaine Blue because the scope is just not there. The truly great documentary projects achieve their status through their sticktoitiveness. Long term work pays off in depth and breadth. This essay is beautifully shot in a style that gives us a nice graphic equivalent to the turmoil and loss of control felt by such people (and I ought to know, I was out of control once too), and there is no doubt that it succeeds because it is “close enough.” In focusing on this small group, it gains a lot in intensity, but that focus also prevents it from providing us with anything new in terms of understanding drug abuse as a social problem. But Jessica’s approach is drug abuse on the personal level, and in focussing on the personal register rather than the social, she has given us a pretty strong picture of individuals coming apart at the seams, which after all is a pretty strong indictment of drug abuse. No, it is nothing fundamentally new, other than the style (Digital color instead of the usual black and white). Richards managed to capture a bit of both in his work, the personal dissolution and the social framework in which it occurs, but he focused on the ghetto (and was roundly criticized for that). Jessica gives us a look at a different social group. That is nothing new either, really. Larry Clark’s Tulsa focused on white kids in Tulsa; and I forget who shot that famous essay on the white drug abusing couple in Needle Park on 72nd Street, but I believe one of the older Magnum shooters did that — both of these were legendary in their time. Drug abuse continues to fascinate and repel, its utter disregard for bourgeois control, safety, personal cultivation and other proprieties is its guarantee that it will prove a perennial favorite on the media hit parade. Maybe Jessica is tired of the topic, or maybe she will develop it further. But give her a chance. I have faith that she will make good on the grants she has won.


on the subject of favorite themes, well nobody here is better qualified than I to complain about the lack of attention paid by such contests to themes that are not deemed “important” or interesting to the media. I have worked for many years in the Dominican Republic, a country every bit as interesting as Haiti or Cuba, but rarely visited by photojournalists and almost never deemed worthy of precious publication space or grant money. I have routinely been told things like, “great work, but can you give us something on merengue instead, or baseball?” Doesnt matter that the sugar plantations are a Caribbean apartheid or that poor black cane cutters live lives of astounding deprivation, or that the colonial system that gave rise to sugar cultivation is still pretty much in operation, or that the consumption of sugar is pretty much in line with Marx’s critique of commodities. All of these themes, which you would think would be just what the media craves, are given scant if any attention. But you know what? You just keep pounding away, you dont take no for an answer, and eventually you will compel their attention. Believe in yourself and others will eventually believe in you as well. Of course, it is nice when you score a grand slam, but the slow and patient route is the more common one, and you just have to get used to that. It can work to your advantage too and force you to produce mature, considered work. Dont worry so much about the fact that the contests have their ideological bent, aesthetically and thematically. The media is an institutional structure like any other; you have to fight the powers that be, that is a given. While it continues to give us the same old tired themes, there are plenty of great photographers out there who have managed to bend its will in order to divert its attention, for however small a span of time, to other matters. A few examples: Koudelka’s Gypsies, Towell’s Mennonites, Abbas’s small Mexican village, Gene Smith’s Pittsburgh, delaHaye’s Winterreise . . . and I am sure all of you can think of more. Have faith, in yourselves if not in the system.

by Jon Anderson | 15 Jul 2006 16:07 (ed. Jul 15 2006) | a casa, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
God damn, you’all have a lot to say, interesting points. Jessica’s photos are very very strong. In the name of critique, what do people think about the dull and obvious look of the world press awards these days (not all projects of course) ? I just got the book. It just doesn’t inspire like it did in years passed. Does it?

by [former member] | 15 Jul 2006 16:07 | Oakland, United States | | Report spam→
agreed Eros. Now if it had some of your own work in there i would be inclined to change my opinion ;)


Really I dont expect much from such organs, the best work is, of course, often featured in these contests, but more often the stuff that endures comes out of left field. The wild pitch, the fluke home run, those are the things that make the game worthwhile. I like projects that explore new themes or undertake to think about themes in a new way. Look at Jim Goldberg’s Rich or Poor book. Not scintillating photography really, but the project is quite a revelation. Part of our job is to make preconceived reality or orthodox thinking rub its eyes and shake its head, but in order to do so you gotta push push push. “Such are the two ways of the Photograph. The choice is mine: to subject its spectacle to the civilised code of perfect illusions, or to confront in it the wakening of intractable reality.”

by Jon Anderson | 15 Jul 2006 17:07 | a casa, Dominican Republic | | Report spam→
anyone who becomes a junkie in 21st century new york is nothing but self indulgent andselfish and has no excuse.that should be the story.in this she failed.i think it is a sad indictment of the award givers that they don’t understand that.

by Michael Bowring | 15 Jul 2006 19:07 | Belgrade, Serbia | | Report spam→
eros: ironically, i was looking at the book this afternoon (some ls members of course represented)…im in complete agreement…though, as stated above, seems like a merry-go-round to me: same stories, same folks, different tunes…..though some were extraordinary and some of my fav. PJ’s won…incidentally, i love your border series, deeply: :)))))))b

by [former member] | 16 Jul 2006 03:07 | Toronto (home sweet), Canada | | Report spam→
There are so many great talented photojournalists out there. It makes me wonder how the award givers choose one over the other. It seems arbitrary
at times. Is it the delivery of the message, is it the emotional impact by the viewer, is the photographer’s consistent unique style, is it
just the certain time of the day? If the subject matter is the most imporatant matter in choosing the award winner, then shouldn’t the set of
images present a different angle to the story that has been done over and over again? For instance, many photographers have done work in India but the
challange lies in finding ways to photograph it in a unique way that noone else has done before. To me this is interesting…to be able to say:
“well, I have seen it many times but ….I’ve never seen it that way before.”

by Nile Tuzun | 16 Jul 2006 06:07 | California, United States | | Report spam→
it’s interesting that this award has provoked so much debate. is it bitterness i sense that so many original stories get passed over by awards bodies in favour of the standard big topics or is it a pang of envy the fact that jessica HAS discovered something original in her story: that the flatiron building on the outside is one of the great icons of american architecture and endevour yet inside the lives of it’s inhabitants are rotting away. a powerful metaphor for the state of the union perhaps?

either way the awards process, like photography itself is a completely subjective pursuit, it is a shame however that the same issues getting recognition is forcing photographers to follow in each others footprints: the earning of the stripes in Gaza or Kabul, the pilgrimage to Varanassi, the home-truths of the Ghetto. it is only when work like that of Gene Richards, Jim Goldberg or Trent Parke’s makes it’s way through the fog that you realise that these subjective experiences can be transformed for the viewer into something dazzling and original and that it hasn’t all been done before…

…and if it has, shoot it anyway: it might net you 30 grand or so!

congrats jessica, put the camera down for a minute and have a cocktail.

by [former member] | 18 Jul 2006 16:07 | Dublin, Ireland | | Report spam→

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Participants

Daniel Etter, Photographer / Writer Daniel Etter
Photographer / Writer
Istanbul , Turkey
Stephane Lehr, Photojournalist Stephane Lehr
Photojournalist
Paris , France
Davin Ellicson, Photographer Davin Ellicson
Photographer
New York , United States
Michael Bowring, photographer Michael Bowring
photographer
Belgrade , Serbia
Jonathan Auch, Jonathan Auch
Puerto Vallarta , Mexico
Matthew Williams, Photojournalist Matthew Williams
Photojournalist
Seattle, Wa , United States
Ida, Media Strategist Ida
Media Strategist
Brooklyn , United States
Alessandra Benedetti, Photographer Alessandra Benedetti
Photographer
(QUO VADIS )
Rome , Italy
Jon Anderson, Photographer & Writer Jon Anderson
Photographer & Writer
Ocala Florida , United States
Nile Tuzun, Photographer / Designer Nile Tuzun
Photographer / Designer
San Francisco , United States ( SFO )


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