Inspirations

10 Powerful Images by the Winners of the 2015 Getty Grant

Souvid Datta, Salvatore Esposito, Matt Eich, Mojgan Ghanbari and Javier Arcenillas are the five winners of a $50,000 grant awarded every year at the Visa Pour L’Image festival in Perpignan, France.

Ever since the grant was first established in 2004, Getty Images has awarded photographers who “bring attention to significant social and cultural issues, as well as [who] take new and inspiring strides in creative work.”

Souvid Datta

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Jyotsna, 29, awaits customers in Sonagachi, India. / Souvid Datta

Souvid Datta was awarded for his portraiture series, “Sonagachi: Vanishing Girls”, which casts a light into the estimated 13,000 women in Sonagachi, Kolkata who have to sell their bodies every day for next-to-nothing.

Datta, who was born in India but raised in London, began the project in part because of the hypocritical nature of society during his trips back home:

“Dinner table conversations grind to a halt at Sonagachi’s mention. People furrow their brows or laugh nervously offering occasional, ill-informed generalizations or knee-jerk jibes.”
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Beauty usually attends to four to five clients in between each shower; she showers three times a day. / Souvid Datta

Salvatore Esposito

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A young member of the Camorra in Naples with his 7.65 gun. / Salvatore Esposito – Contrasto

Salvatore Esposito has been documenting the young criminal gang members of the Camorra, one of Naple’s largest crime clans, since 2007. His series was titled, “What Is Missing”, and was influenced by the photographer’s upbringing in Naples during the mid-eighties, when gang wars involving the Camorra family saw almost one death per day for 10 years.

“What surprised me most is the humanity you can find in these young criminals. Some of them chose this life because of the fanaticism of the gangster’s life. Some of them just because they were born in the wrong neighborhood or in the wrong families.”
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A gang member at home in Scampia, Naples. / Salvatore Esposito – Contrasto

Matt Eich

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Richie Goins Jr. watches as his family’s new trailer is built; their previous trailer was destroyed in a crash by a drunk driver / Matt Eich

Matt Eich’s series “Carry Me Ohio” began when he was an undergraduate student back in 2006. He became interested in the personalities and families of rural Athens, Ohio, where poverty is abound partly due to a widespread opiate problem.

“If you’re not surprised then you’re not looking hard enough. The longer I photographed, the more I realized that there are reasons people do the things they do.”
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Tylor Woodrum, 16, holds a box with his father’s ashes. / Matt Eich

Mojgan Ghanbari

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19-year-old Mina awaiting her groom before their wedding / Mojgan Ghanbari

Mojgan Ghanbari, an Iranian photographer, wanted to portray how women in her country were affected by society following the outcome of the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Her series is called “Zanan”, or women in Persian, and covers a range of different subjects as they seek to make their voices heard.

“Even in 21 century and after all global women’s movements, still women and children are the ones who suffer the most from any sort of crisis in society everywhere in the world and Iran is not an exception.”
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Young women taking selfies in the “women-only” section of a wedding. / Mojgan Ghanbari

Javier Arcenillas

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A woman cries in San Pedro Sula after a gun was fired in the street. / Javier Arcenillas

Javier Arcenillas won his grant for his work in Honduras, where he photographed drug addicts, murderers, and gang victims.

“Every day there was some new atrocity that surprised me more. It has been a really rough ride emotionally.”

Cover Image: Men detained by police for possession of marijuana and guns / Javier Arcenillas