Firecracker Photographic Grant
In light of the increasingly difficult circumstances faced by our freelance photographic community, this year’s Firecracker Photographic Grant is specifically tailored to support practitioners during the Covid_19 pandemic.
Open to female and non binary photographers, the Grant will distribute a minimum contribution of £2000 which will be split into 4 individual funds of £500 each. Submissions will be assessed on a combination of quality of work and artist statements, which should include an outline of how the grant will be spent. Consideration will be given to the potential impact of the grant during the current crisis and could include support for living expenses or production costs.
Applications are subject to an application fee of £8 and 100% of payments go back into the Grant fund. The larger the submissions, the larger the grant total and the more photographers we can support.
Applications are now open, and will close 1 May 2020. The grant recipients will be announced by 10 May and we will endeavour to make payments at the same time.
Support the Firecracker Photographic Grant
Firecracker is a small not for profit initiative founded in 2011. For the past 8 years it has awarded one photographer annually with a £2000 grant to help complete a body of work. The grant fund is generated through application fees with 100% of payments going back into the award. Any shortfalls are met by a direct contribution from Firecracker.
For those who wish to support this year’s Grant initiative and the photographic community more broadly, or for those who do not want to apply or are ineligible, we welcome any donations through the Firecracker PayPal account.
The highest donor will be gifted a beautiful photographic print as a gesture of our appreciation.
Do something amazing today! The creative community welcomes your support.
2020 Grant Judges
Rudi Thoemmes Managing Director and Founder of RRB Photobooks
Rudi has worked with rare and antiquarian books for over 40 years, as well as working on several publishing ventures throughout his career. He founded RRB Photobooks; a photobook publisher and speciaist bookseller based in Bristol UK, in 2008. RRB Photobooks publish mainly overlooked, forgotten and underappreciated British photographers of the 1970s and 80s, as well as a variety of British documentary work. Rudi also founded Photobook Bristol in 2013 and the RRB Photobooks imprint in 2015.
As Curator of Photographs, Sabina develops and curates photography exhibitions and displays at the National Portrait Gallery. Recent examples include Cecil Beaton, Martin Parr, John Stezaker, Sîan Davey, Thomas Ruff and the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. She received an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award in 2010, completing a PhD in post-war Polish photography, jointly supervised by the University of Essex and Tate. Before being appointed Associate Curator of Photographs at the National Portrait Gallery in 2016, Sabina lectured on the history and theory of photography. She has previously held positions at the University for the Creative Arts and Autograph ABP.
Bindi Vorais the curatorial project manager at Autograph, London, a photographic artist, and visiting lecturer at University of Westminster. Since taking up the position at Autograph in 2018 she has co-curated solo exhibitions by Lola Flash and Maxine Walker – whose show will tour to the Midlands Art Centre in 2020.
In 2020, Bindi will curate the first international presentation of Poulomi Basu’s Centralia as part of the 2020 Louis Roederer Discovery Award at The Rencontres d’Arles. This exhibition is presented in partnership with New Art Exchange, Nottingham and is supported by Metro Imaging (UK).
Bindi previously held the position of curatorial assistant at the Hayward Gallery, organising exhibitions by Lee Bul: Crashing and commissioning the inaugural Hayward Billboard by Njideka Akunyili Crosby, as well as coordinating the 50th anniversary performances by Tai Shani, Florence Peake & Eve Stainton. Prior to the Hayward Gallery she curated the off-site commissions for The Photographers’ Gallery, which included the international touring exhibition Work, Rest & Play: British Photography from the 1960s to Today, featuring thirty- eight acclaimed photographers and artists, In Fine Feather at Selfridges London, In Your Face at Liberty London.
She has contributed to publications such as Loose Associations; Lee Bul: Crashing; and has contributed to public programmes at The Photographers’ Gallery, London Art Fair, University of the Arts, London, University of East London amongst others. She was most recently in conversation with renowned photographer Vanley Burke in collaboration with GUAP and The Photographers’ Gallery.
The Firecracker Photographic Grant is a small, self funded, non-profit initiative open to international female photographers or non-binary photographers.
It is usually awarded to a photographer based on the strength of visual portfolios and artist statements submitted, however in light of the Covid19 pandemic, the 2019 Grant will be allocated in smaller individual amounts based on quality of work and information supplied in the application process.
All information is confidential and consideration will be made on both living expenses and production costs. If you receive a salary or regular income we would encourage you to not apply, in order to benefit those with the greatest need.
Applications are judged by an independent panel of industry experts. 100% of application fees go towards the total Grant amount.
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.
2017’s Firecracker Photographic Grant was awarded to Brazilian photographer Carolina Arantes for her work ‘First Generation’, an on-going project about the first generation of Afro-French women of France which speaks about national identity, mixed origins and culture deeply anchored in its historical tradition.
In 2019 American Haitian photographer Sabine Ostinvil was awarded the grant for her tender portrayal of her brother’s boyhood and identity as young black men. This beautifully moving collaboration hit at a time where the #metoo movement was calling into question the notion of modern masculinity and the work was later included in group exhibition about black male identities at the African American Museum in Philadelphia.