Alex Masi Wins 'Photocrati Fund' Photography Grant Competition Award
Photocrati is pleased to name documentary photographer Alex Masi as the 2013 Photocrati Fund Fellow for his work documenting the long-term impact of the devastating 1984 gas leak in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh (India). At the time of the accident, 4,000 deaths were confirmed. By 2006, more than 550,000 people had suffered injuries from the gas leak and subsequent soil and water contamination. Now, thousands of people, mostly poor, suffer from debilitating neurological disorders due to this environmental contamination.
With this grant, Masi intends to document the efforts of medical advocacy groups who work to improve the lives of "gas survivors" and to raise awareness about the plight of the people who suffer daily with little recourse for relief.
"I feel extremely honored for having been selected as the winner of the 2013 Photocrati Fund," Masi says. "It is with great pleasure and uttermost commitment that I will return to Bhopal, India, to continue reporting on the legacy of chemicals, pollution and illnesses left in the wake of the gas tragedy."
Photocrati Founder and CEO Erick Danzer is proud to have Masi as a new part of the Photocrati family. "Alex's work serves as a sobering reminder of the multi-generational human cost of environmental disasters."
The chance to fund projects such as this, Danzer says, is what the Photocrati Fund is all about. "We want to help enable great photographers to tell important stories. We know that upfront funding is a barrier for many projects; hopefully, the Photocrati Fund can play a small role in changing that."
Masi's project was selected from a competitive group of more than 400 applicants by the 2013 Photocrati Fund juror panel which included some of the world's premier environmental and humanitarian photographers: Jim Brandenburg, Michael "Nick" Nichols, and Steve McCurry.
Second Place goes to conservation photographer Ethan Welty for his ongoing project, Unprotected Cascades, an effort to create a comprehensive portfolio of the North Cascades, a stunning and bio-diverse region that is only partially protected with the 504,500-acre North Cascades National Park.