Photographer Fernando Moleres Wins 2012 Tim Hetherington Grant

by David Walker

© Fernando Moleres

Spanish photographer Fernando Moleres has won the 2012 Tim Hetherington Grant, World Press Photo and Human Rights Watch have announced. Moleres was awarded the grant to complete his project called "Waiting for an Opportunity."

The 20,000 euro grant (about $26,000), established in 2011 to celebrate Hetherington's legacy as a photographer and filmmaker, is intended to help a visual journalist complete an existing project with a human rights theme. Moleres was one of 176 journalists from 53 countries to apply for the grant this year.

His project focuses on the hardship and injustice that incarcerated youth are subjected to at an adult prison in Pademba, Sierra Leone. Many wait years for trial under harsh conditions without access to legal assistance. Their families often reject them, and they struggle to re-adjust to prison life after their release.

The project includes coverage of the lives of a number of former inmates taken into a rehabilitation program that Moleres started in order to help them, called Free Minor Africa.

Judges for this year's Tim Hetherington Grant included photographer Marcus Bleasdale; journalist and documentary filmmaker James Barbazon; Whitney C. Johnson, director of photography The New Yorker; Michiel Munneke, managing director, World Press Photo; and Carroll Bogert, deputy executive director for external relations for Human Rights Watch.  

World Press Photo said that the selection committee "looked for the qualities that defined Hetherington’s career"--in particular, work that straddled boundaries between news coverage and documentary, and that demonstrated a moral commitment to the lives and stories of the subjects.

Bleasdale said in the WPP announcement, "For me, just as for Tim, photography is a starting point, the start of a journey and you try to work out what you can do with that photo to affect change, to inform and to educate. This project [by Fernando Moleres] has that vision."

Hetherington was killed in April, 2011 while covering the uprising in Libya against the regime of former dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

The winner of the first Tim Hetherington Grant, awarded a year ago, was Stephen Ferry. He won for his long-term project "Violentology: A Manual of the Colombian Conflict," which examines Colombia's decades-long guerrilla war.

Related stories:
Photographer Stephen Ferry Awarded First Tim Hetherington Grant

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