IdeasTap Photographic Awards winners announced

Marco Kesseler and Alice Myers both secured £5000 cash prizes and internships with Magnum Photos. The two were chosen from a group of six finalists who had each received mentoring from Magnum photographers and £1500 of project funding to shoot a series of still images and create a multimedia essay.

Kesseler took first place in the age 16-22 category for his project about political repression in Belarus, often described as Europe’s last dictatorship. “This project juxtaposes the veneer of public normality with the more open experiences behind closed doors,” he explains. “The portraits are a testament to the activists, journalists and politicians who still refuse to give up despite hundreds of protesters being arrested since the last elections.”

The University College Falmouth graduate, now aged 23, impressed the judges with his commitment to the story. Commenting on the multimedia element of Kesseler’s project, judge and 2011 contest winner, Maria Gruzdeva praises its “cinematographic, expressive quality,” noting: “He considered it an opportunity to do something with video and audio, rather than simply to document.” Magnum photographer David Hurn, also a judge, says Kesseler showed real potential to “make a living and survive as a photographer.”

In her winning project in the age 23-30 category, 26-year-old Alice Myers examines the limbo-like state of undocumented asylum seekers in Calais. Combining images with handwritten text, the work is unapologetically personal. “I’m interested in the negotiation that takes place when I photograph and interview people,” she explains. “They choose what to disclose or hold back and I subsequently choose what to show the viewer. The resulting story is fragmented and partial.” Hurn remarked on the project’s “authenticity,” while fellow judge LCC Photography course director Adrian Mott commends Myers for her technical ability. “Alice has a strong eye and she’s able to carry that strength of image creation across different genres of photography,” he says. 


Belarus: An Uncertain Winter © Marco Kesseler.

The IdeasTap Photographic Award is run annually by IdeasTap, in association with Magnum Photos; BJP is a media partner. IdeasTap is a creative network founded in 2008, by the Peter De Haan Charitable Trust, to support emerging artists.

The 2013 Award is now open for entries. For the first time this year, UK-based photographers aged 31 and above are also eligible to apply.


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