We got entries from 27 different countries for the 2016 APAD Backyard Storytelling Grant, including Iran, Bangladesh & Ukraine… with issues equally as diverse as our entrants themselves. And on behalf of the judges Greg Kahn, Daniella Zalcman, and myself, we’re excited to announce our 2016 APAD Backyard Storytelling Grant recipient — Tommaso Rada.
From his proposal:
“Domestic Borders” becomes a route where each photo is a stop on the way, not searching for answers but interrogating the social reality, the relations between inhabitants and the territory and the meaning of Europe today. “Domestic Borders” ends up being an unusual and unexpected trip, a dystopian portrait of the relationships between and across the border, showing the challenges of living in a unique space with a different passage of time. Two years ago I started a project on European borders. I documented the borders between Portugal and Spain, Romania, and Bulgaria, Bulgaria and Greece and Italy and France. Each chapter can work alone as well as mixed with the others. With the grant, I would do a new chapter of the project documenting the border between Spain and France.”
I was particularly impressed by Tomasso’s subtle, lyrical approach to looking at EU borders. It’s a timely and relevant project on a subject that’s not inherently very visual — but he’s come up with a meaningful way to address an issue that’s at the heart of Europe’s ongoing geopolitical identity crisis. I can’t wait to see the next chapter of the project! — Daniella Zalcman
Tommaso Rada had a really interesting proposal, one that not only gave us a clear idea of the story but found deeper meaning hidden in the landscape. His images found a nice subtle balance between literal borders and invisible lines in the terrain, inviting the viewer to stay on each photo longer. — Greg Kahn
iI like that Tommaso is taking a bigger picture issue, and then taking a step back to look this huge global story, through the lens of something much smaller… by trying to localize it and compartmentalize it. The story is nuanced and I feel really great about supporting such important work. — Melissa Lyttle
(*** Note: We had incredibly strong finalists: Amber Bracken, Alexey Furman, Dina Oganova, and Jennifer Swanson. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention their outstanding work and proposals. We’re looking forward to seeing more from them in the future, and you should be as well.)