The Magenta Foundation in partnership with visual artist Jean-François Bouchard, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 production grants.

First place – $5,000 Grant

Michelle Gabel, US

One Forever Moment

One Forever Moment explores familial love, trauma and healing after the unintentional gun injury of Michelle Fox, a mother of two girls, in her home near Syracuse, NY. The shotgun blast, caused by her live-in ex-husband, damaged Michelle's face, took away her sight and sense of smell, and significantly changed her life, as well as her loved ones’ lives. Through photos, drawings, writings and police reports, this multilayered visual investigation explores the long-term physical, emotional and mental health impacts of unintentional shootings on survivors and their loved ones, as well as overall effects in American society.

Michelle Gabel Michelle Gabel (U.S.A.) is a photographer and visual storyteller based near Syracuse, New York. Her long-form documentary photography projects tell complex, contemporary stories that dive into individual lives while addressing relevant social issues. Michelle believes sharing stories that evoke empathy can enrich lives, helping viewers explore and become aware of the unfamiliar, contemplate questions about our society, environment and the world, and take action. Michelle's photography has appeared in National Geographic PROOF, New York Magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, ESPN, Global Post and The Post-Standard. Her work has been exhibited internationally as well as in the United States.

Second place – $3,000 Grant

Alisa Martynova, Italy

Nowhere Near

More than one million immigrants from Africa officially reside in Italy, as well as an unknown number of undocumented migrants, many of whom have made a perilous and often life-threatening journey to get there. A 2016 study by the International Organization of Migrants pointed to insecurity, conflict, and discrimination as the main drivers of migration, not solely economic and work reasons. Discrimination on the basis of social group, religion, or sexual orientation was mentioned by almost half of the study group. In October 2020, the Italian government adopted a decree overturning many of the anti-immigration policies introduced by the previous interior minister Matteo Salvini, leader of the right-wing Lega Nord (Northern League). The migrant’s journey is a long one, night after night, inching toward the horizon like constellations. Not just typical stars, they are high-velocity stars, ejected at hyper speed by black holes, sprinkled across the cosmos by the force of their propulsion. And these scattered stars, in their crossing, are like the migrants that I met in Italy who had come from Nigeria, The Gambia, and Ivory Coast, across Europe, seeking El Dorado.

Alisa Martynova born in 1994, originally from Orenburg, Russia, lives and works in Italy. After finishing her studies in Foreign Philology in her home country, in 2019 she graduates from a professional photography three year program at Fondazione Studio Marangoni in Florence, Italy. In 2021 she becomes a winner of Portraits Series category of World Press Photo Contest and her work is exhibited during festivals such as PhotoBrussels 05, Fotografia Europea, Cortona on the move, Encontros da Imagem and Planches Contact. Her work is published by Internazionale, D-Repubblica, LFI and Fisheye. Her new project High fire in the forest's heart is a finalist in The Aftermath project Grant.

Third place – $2,000 Grant

Diego Moreno, Mexico

Malign Influences

It is a graphic intervention project on my family photographic archive. Through the manual use of colored pencils, graphite, India ink, markers, oil or materials such as bleach or vinegar, I intervene the photographs as a way to create new realities invented from my obsession and fascination with the anomalous. Inspired by the apocalyptic vision of the Catholic Church I served for twelve years as a child and raised in a highly religious environment, I grew up disturbed by who I was because of my sexual orientation. My identity was veiled by the prejudices and guilt that religious doctrines bestow upon you. Growing up in a place filled with violence. Throughout my life, the symbol of the monstrous and abnormal was the only image I could empathize with due to rejection. Malign Influences, allows me to build an alternative world without guilt, paying homage to the family album, one of the main fictional artifacts of our lives that generates our identity over time. This project is starred by the beings that inhabit my head, who do not hide or remain silent, they show themselves in all their monstrosity. They speak with multiple voices claiming their difference. Thus, with their ungrammatical language, we refuse to be condemned to silence.

Diego Moreno was named as one of the photographers to follow in the world by The British Journal of Photography in its talent Issue in London, United Kingdom in 2016. He is the winner of FOAM TALENT 2022; Winner of the OpenWalls By The British Journal Of Photography 2020; Winner of Cheerz Photo Festival 2019 in Paris, France; Winner of the Ibero-American Photography Award POY LATAM 2019; Winner of International Prize of the image 2019; Winner of the LensCulture Emerging Talent Award 2018 and Acquisition Award of the X Puebla de los Ángeles Biennial 2015 in Mexico.

Special Acknowledgement for Additional Support

Charles Lee, US

been here.

Black Cowfolk are not a novelty. The U.S. iconography of the “Cowboy” is based on fallacy. As long as there have been cowhands, cattlemen, ranchers, cowboys, cowgirls and cowfolk, there have been Black cowhands, cattlemen, ranchers, cowboys, cowgirls and cowfolk. The icon of the U.S. Cowboy was built on the deliberate obfuscation of the role of Black people in the development of U.S. western culture. By documenting Black ranchers, trail riders, ropers, equestrians, and animal trainers, the project “been here,” reconciles the truth at hand; Black men and women have been participating in the “country life” since the establishment of the colonies that became the United States. This work is important as it opposes western epistemology and the current zeitgeist surrounding Black existence, showing that we exist outside of the framework of the canon. The works featured here are excerpts from the project “been here.” I made these photographs between Louisiana, the Central Valley California and the Bay Area California. I chose these particular places to trace the migration patterns of Black agricultural ecologies in the U.S. and to speak on the larger conversation of historical westward expansion. The images shown here show that the “Country Life” is a lifestyle and not something to be sensationalized based on one’s race or ethnic make up. There are Black people that participate in the rodeo, raise cattle, listen to country music, live in rural spaces and not solely urban centers.

Charles Lee (b. 1983, Honolulu) is an MFA Candidate at CCA in San Francisco. Lee’s work subverts the narrative that Black culture is a monolith by creating authentic narratives that address issues of reclamation, identity, family, class, authorship, othering; highlighting the existence of subcultures within the Black American diaspora. His work demystifies the act of being Black, showing the nuance of contemporary Black life. Lee is a recipient of Pabst Blue Ribbon’s Open Door Grant 2021 and has exhibited in San Francisco at Slash Art, Book & Job and Southern Exposure galleries and published in Oxford University Press.

Special Mentions

These note-worthy projects left a lasting impression with our judges:

High Visibility (Blaze Orange) by Jaclyn Wright
When Women Fly by Valeria Luongo
R_EU_nification by Radu Diaconu

With thanks to our
Amazing Jurors