Visual communications company Getty Images, in collaboration with Verizon Media, has named five recipients to its latest Creative Bursary grant centering around life with disabilities.
Recognising the challenges faced by photographers worldwide as they look to break into the commercial industry, this distinct grant program seeks to discover and nurture creative talent while also alleviating some of the financial hurdles related to the craft.
Open to photographers globally, and supported by a matching grant by Verizon, Disability Stories is a one-time Bursary, awarding one recipient $15,000, one recipient $10,000 and three recipients $5,000 each, as determined by an esteemed panel of creative industry judges and disability activists.
“Given that today is the United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we couldn’t be more thrilled to honour five truly talented individuals as they seek to picture and share stories conveying the realities of disability,” said Getty Images global head of art and bursary judge Guy Merrill.
“This global Bursary reaffirms our commitment, alongside Verizon Media, to support the authentic representation of people with disabilities in the media—something we began in 2018 when we launched our joint effort, The Disability Collection.”
As one of the largest global media companies, Verizon Media seeks to provide equal access to the world it creates by making its own products and brands accessible and encouraging others to do the same.
“Creating premium experiences for all—not just a subset—is our north star,” said Verizon Media head of accessibility Larry Goldberg.
“The Disabilities Stories grant helps to further the creation of content that respectfully and authentically depicts the disability community, and therefore creates media that truly represents all. We’re thrilled to be part of this initiative and to empower photographers to do the same.”
Recipients of the Disability Stories Creative Bursary include:
First Place ($15,000)
- Nolan Ryan Trowe for Adopted Family: Nolan is a disabled documentary photographer and film maker who is inspired by the human condition. His project sheds light on a group of 10 people with disabilities who gather weekly in Harlem to discuss disability rights and representation.
Second Place ($10,000)
- Snezhana von Buedingen for Sofie at Work: Snezhana, from Cologne, Germany, documents the life of a young woman with down syndrome for two years as she transitions into adulthood and faces the day-to-day challenges of her disability.
Third Place ($5,000)
- Adetona Omokanye for Beyond 4 Foot 10 Inches: Adetona’s project aims to deconstruct the socio-cultural stereotypes of dwarfs in media and advertising. The subjects in this series are beautiful, compelling, bold and vivacious.
- Isabel Alexander for Metronome: Isabel captures her brother, who has autism, and the ways in which his disability impacts not only his life, but the lives of those who are closest to him.
- Jacqueline Foss for Beneath the Skin: Jacqueline, who lives in Baltimore, uses self-portrait therapy to express what it is like to live with chronic ailments.