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How to get a $25,000 grant from The Aftermath Project to implement your own photo project about the consequences of war? Tips from the co-founder and winner of the competition


UAPP continues to support the creative ideas of photographers and promote the active development of documentary filmmakers. This time we are talking about the non-profit organization The Aftermath Project. It offers photographers from all over the world to receive a $25,000 grant to implement a documentary project that will be able to demonstrate the consequences of military conflict to the world community in a deep and convincing way. The works created by the grant winners help inform the public about the true cost of peace. 


There are too many wars, deaths and consequences of armed confrontations in the world. That's why Sarah Terry, co-founder and artistic director of The Aftermath Project, who covered the war in Bosnia, is calling on Ukrainian documentary filmmakers to apply for a grant to draw the world's attention to what Ukrainians are facing after Russia's full-scale invasion of their country.


"At a time when the world media was focused on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, there was Bosnia, which was barely surviving after its war. It was forgotten and abandoned by the international community. So I just want to help other photographers cover stories after conflicts. We made the contest especially accessible to Ukrainian photographers because we realize that Ukraine is still in the middle of a conflict, and there are already serious consequences," explains Sarah about the contest committee's focus on Ukraine.


So Sarah Terry, together with photojournalist Joseph Sywenky, who won in 2022 with his project Wounds, held a joint ZOOM meeting for Ukrainian photographers, where they talked about the peculiarities of applying for the competition and shared life hacks on how to present your story convincingly so that it wins.


First of all, Sara recommends that you familiarize yourself with the works of the winners of previous years so that the topic and its main messages are not repeated. She believes that documentary filmmakers should only submit stories that they really care about deeply in order to tell them as convincingly and loudly as possible. She says that the most important thing about projects is the meanings they contain. "Don't write or do what you think the judges will want. Do what you're really passionate about and tell us what we all need to know more about," — emphasizes Sarah.


Joseph Syvenky is an American photojournalist of Ukrainian descent. In his project Wounds, he tells the story of Ukrainian activists and soldiers who were seriously injured during the 2014 Revolution of Dignity and Russia's war against Ukraine. It is a long-term project focused on the people and their families who fought for justice, democracy, and further independence of Ukraine. It explores the consequences of war and the lifelong healing process.


Joseph advises to find a good editor who will help you prepare the text for the photo. "After all, 51% of success is quality photos, 49% is convincing text. You have to spend some time thinking about how to explain what your work is about, why it matters, and why other people should care about why you do it."


Together with the participants of the online meeting, Sarah and Joseph discussed the topics proposed by the photographers. They advised the applicants on where to look deeper in their story, what to change, and what to abandon. The recording of the meeting is available upon request in direct on UAPP's social media accounts.


The deadline for submitting an application to the competition has been extended until March 25, 2024, so that everyone has time to prepare their projects. In addition to the cash prize, the winners will receive the attention of the international photography community and the opportunity to present their projects at exhibitions around the world.

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