Firecracker Photographic Grant
The Firecracker Photographic Grant is an annual award providing funding for a female photographer to aid with the completion of a documentary photographic project.
Through a combination of self-initiated fundraising and with the generous support of Genesis Imaging, the Grant fund is a minimum financial contribution of £2,000 plus credit of professional printing, mounting and framing services from Genesis Imaging.
Applications are open to women photographers born or residing in Europe and submissions are judged by an independent panel of industry specialists from a cross section of disciplines and sectors, including picture editors, commissioners, art buyers and gallerists.
Submissions are subject to a £10 application fee, with all funding contributing to the Grant total.
Applications are now open for 2017!
2017 Grant Judges
She is renowned as a champion of the work of contemporary Iranian artists. Her 2008 show Whispered Secrets, Murmuring Dreams introduced many young contemporary Iranian to a Western audience. Her ground-breaking exhibition, Masques of Shahrazad (2009), showcased the work of three generations of Iranian women artists and toured internationally. Her most recent exhibition, Burnt Generation, showcased life in Iran through the lens of eight major photographers, which opened at Somerset House in 2014, and is currently touring globally. She led the development of the Conde Nast College of Fashion & Design, which opened in London in 2013. She is co-Founder with Michael Benson of Candlestar, a company that specialises in the creation and development of major new international cultural initiatives including the Gulf Art Fair (now Art Dubai) and the Prix Pictet. She is co-founder and co-Director of Photo London.
Outside of her day job, Emma regularly works on independent curatorial projects; takes part in panel discussions and portfolio reviews; and contributes to photography magazines and artist catalogues. She curated Modern Italian Photography 1930s–1970s for the European Month of Photography 2016, and her book Understanding Photography was published by Bloomsbury earlier this year.
Emma is especially interested in ‘expanded’ approaches to documentary practice; digital media; and photography and installation.
He is a trusted advisor to private collectors of photography internationally, sourcing works from artists, galleries and auction houses and navigating the art market on their behalf, both in buying and selling. With experience in the field of vintage photography he is a member of the Frieze Masters vetting committee and as the Director of Michael Hoppen Contemporary from 2010-2014 he is in a position to advise and support emerging and established photographic artists.
When not making books (or helping others to do the same) she is an active member of the photography community: a regular portfolio reviewer at various international photo festivals; she is a founder member of PhotoMeet: the London-based organisation of photo-editors, educators and photographers providing advice and education for emerging photographers and students.
A book of her own street photography, Columbia Road was published by Hoxton Mini-Press in 2015.
Throughout her career she has been involved in the coverage of some of the most historic news stories of our time including the events surrounding 9/11 and the subsequent terror attacks in London and across Europe, conflicts around the world from Bosnia to Iraq and Afghanistan, the revolution of the Arab spring and the continuing violence in the middle east, large scale natural disasters such as the earthquakes in Haiti, tsunamis in southern Asia, famine in Sub-Saharan Africa and the humanitarian crises resulting from the growing refugee numbers across the globe. Also a good few UK general elections and political change and upheaval worldwide.
Fiona has delivered talks at photo festivals and to students of photojournalism and have judged the Sony World Photography Awards, the UK Picture Editors Guild Awards and this year a nominator for the Prix Pictet and she is joining the jury of The Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize.
The Firecracker Photographic Grant is open to female photographers born or currently residing in Europe. It will be awarded to a photographer based on the strength of visual portfolios and artist statements submitted. Applications will be judged by an independant panel of industry experts. The Grant intends to assist with the completion of a documentary photographic project and will be awarded as such.
Jo Metson Scott
The inaugural Firecracker Photographic Grant was awarded in September 2012 to British photographer Jo Metson Scott for her project ‘The Grey Line’, a sensitive documentation of ‘conscientious objectors’; American and British soldiers speaking out against the Iraq war. The book has since been highly commended and voted one of the best photo books of 2013 by Time, The Observer, The Telegraph and Empire.
“Receiving the Firecracker grant was a huge endorsement for me and for a piece of work I’d been struggling to find the right platform for. The award gave the work great visibility and the grant itself, as well as the support from Genesis, was instrumental in the final stages of bringing the work together as a book. Beyond being a grant, Firecracker connected me to a supportive group of photography professionals, who gave me the confidence to pull together a project I’d been working on alone for 5 years.”
The 2013 Firecracker Grant was awarded to Nadia Sablin, a Russian photographer living between Brooklyn and St. Petersburg, was chosen for her documentary project ‘Two Sisters’, a story of the photographer’s unmarried aunts who live a traditional and ancestral life in rural northwest Russia, tied to the land and to each other. The project allows us insight into their lives, relationship, identity and the place they call home; each photo offering quiet contemplation on time, aging and family relationships. Since then, Sablin has been awarded a fellowship by the New York Foundation for the Arts and exhibited the project at the Bellevue College in Washington State.
The judges also chose to Highly Commend the work of two additional photographers, Italian Myriam Meloni, nominated for her work on Moldova’s economic orphans, ‘Behind the Absence’ and German photographer Regine Petersen was selected for her constructive narrative about meteorite showers, ‘Fragments’. Each photographer was provided with a bursary of £500, mentoring from industry professionals and a contribution of Trolley publications.
In 2014 Armenian/American photographer Diana Markosian was awarded the Grant for her highly acclaimed project ‘Inventing My Father’, the photographers personal attempt to reconnect with her absent parent. By combining her own visual storytelling ability alongside archival and found photography, Markosian delivers a truly authentic and moving account, resulting in her viewer’s total absorption in, and commitment to, the story. The judges also commended British photographer Sian Davy for work exploring the artist’s daughter, ‘Looking for Alice’.
In 2015 Spanish photographer Lua Ribeira was awarded the Grant for her visually stimulating exploration of British dancehall culture. Her project, Noises in the Blood, explores the celebration of a ritual, embracing consciously the exotic stereotype towards a different culture looking at the immediate differences between photographer and the subject, opening a dialogue about the English Jamaican women and their manners within a shared context.
Firecracker Contributors Award
Photographers! Has someone in the industry changed your life, or developed your career for the better? Now is your chance to say thank you. The Firecracker Contributors Award will recognise one of Europe’s hardworking female photography professionals, voted for by the people they commission, purchase, educate and support: you, the photographers. Perhaps someone took a chance on you in the early stages of your career, or gave you a sage piece of advice you always remembered. Perhaps someone has supported your career for years. Now is the time to show your appreciation.
The rules are simple:
- You must be a photographer to vote (of any gender, nationality or address)
- The professional you vote for must be female and reside in Europe
- One vote per photographer
Stay tuned for the 2018 nominations.