Pulitzer Center Update

Tomas van Houtryve Among Photographers Honored with Catchlight Fellowship

April 25, 2017|

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“Baseball practice in Montgomery County, Maryland. According to records obtained from the FAA, which issued 1,428 domestic drone permits between 2007 and early 2013, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Navy have applied for drone authorization in Montgomery County.” Image by Tomas van Houtryve. United States, 2014.

“Baseball practice in Montgomery County, Maryland. According to records obtained from the FAA, which issued 1,428 domestic drone permits between 2007 and early 2013, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Navy have applied for drone authorization in Montgomery County.” Image by Tomas van Houtryve. United States, 2014.

More than 300 photographers from around the world applied for the first annual CatchLight Fellowship and three have been chosen for their exceptional talent in visual storytelling for social engagement, innovative distribution of photography, creative leadership and collaborative ethos.

Each Fellow will receive a $30,000 grant and be paired with a CatchLight media partner—The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting or The Marshall Project—to complete a proposed project that builds upon past work, demonstrates measurable social awareness and expands understanding of how visual art can be used to communicate vital social issues.

The recipients of the inaugural CatchLight Fellowship are:

  • Sarah Blesener, a New York-based documentary photographer, will be working with Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting to address growing nationalism among youth in the U.S.
  • Brian Frank, of San Francisco, is a social documentary photographer. He will be working with The Marshall Project to document the activities of organizations working to provide viable alternatives to prison for people caught in the cycles of poverty and crime.
  • Tomas van Houtryve is an artist, photographer, and author based in Paris, France. He will be working with The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting to document developments along the U.S.-Mexico border using surveillance imaging technologies and further exploring the “weaponization” of photography.

“CatchLight Fellows are Fellows for life. We are activating a vibrant community of creative thought leaders whose work will be progressively informed and enhanced by interaction with each other,” said Nancy Farese, CatchLight founder and executive director. “CatchLight helps visual storytellers find their voice and amplify it. By advancing the distribution of compelling images from diverse perspectives, we can plant seeds of curiosity, dialogue, inclusion, reconciliation and optimism.”

A recent story on TIME's Lightbox website offers a deeper look into the Catchlight Fellowship and the selection process. 

Each year, the CatchLight Fellowship will recognize three professional lens-based artists who have demonstrated excellence in the novel use of photography to bring awareness to challenging social issues. The deadline for applications for the 2018 Fellowship is January 31, 2018. For more information visit www.catchlight.io.