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Fernando Moleres awarded 2012 Tim Hetherington Grant

Fernando Moleres awarded 2012 Tim Hetherington Grant

© Fernando Moleres/Panos Pictures

December 2012

World Press Photo and Human Rights Watch have announced that Spanish photographer Fernando Moleres has been awarded the 2012 Tim Hetherington Grant – set up to celebrate the legacy of the photojournalist and filmmaker killed in Libya in 2011 – for his project ‘Waiting for an opportunity’ that documents the lives of juvenile prisoners in Sierra Leone.

Moleres’ project was chosen from 176 applications by visual journalists from 53 nationalities to win the second annual Tim Hetherington Grant: he receives a €20,000 grant to help him to complete an existing project on a human rights theme. ‘Waiting for an opportunity’ explores the harsh conditions minors face while incarcerated in the adult Pademba Road Prison in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and follows them in their struggles to adjust to life outside after their release. Many juveniles wait years for their trial, without access to legal assistance, and their families often reject them and don’t welcome them back home.

© Fernando Moleres/Panos Pictures

Mohamed Conteh (14) received a prison sentence of three years or a fine of 150,000 leones (approximately €30). He was accused of possessing a package of marijuana. Without family to help, he will have to serve his sentence. Freetown, Sierra Leone, 5 February 2010.

Fernando Moleres’ project uses photography and video to follow the lives of the young former inmates who were taken in under the social rehabilitation programme of the NGO, Free Minor Africa. The programme was started by Moleres with the aim of helping the juvenile prisoners in Sierra Leone to become a part of society again. According to Sierra Leonean law, children under 17 should not be imprisoned with adults, but poor documentation means that it is not always easy to prove age. Youths can remain in jail for years while awaiting trial as, in some cases, age must be proven before a trial can commence. Every day dozens of juveniles on remand are taken to court, but many return without a decision being made and have to return on numerous occasions before a judgment can be reached.

The selection committee of the 2012 Tim Hetherington Grant consisted of photographers, editors and representatives from World Press Photo and Human Rights Watch. The committee was Marcus Bleasdale (documentary photographer, VII Photo Agency), Carroll Bogert (Deputy Executive Director for External Relations, Human Rights Watch), James Brabazon (journalist and documentary filmmaker), Whitney C. Johnson (Director of Photography, The New Yorker), and Michiel Munneke (Managing Director, World Press Photo). Adriaan Monshouwer (founder of Picture Inside) served as the secretary during the selection.

The selection committee was looking for the qualities that defined Tim Hetherington’s career: work that operates on multiple platforms and in a variety of formats; that crosses boundaries between breaking news and longer-term investigation; and that demonstrates a consistent moral commitment to the lives and stories of the photographic subjects.

Selection committee member Marcus Bleasdale commented: “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 has that vision.”

World Press Photo Managing Director Michiel Munneke explained: “This project embodies Tim Hetherington’s spirit, and is a testimony of his legacy. Moleres’ truly engaged yet under-reported story, speaks fundamentally of hope and commitment. It can bring about change, and make a difference.”

© Fernando Moleres/Panos Pictures

Freetown, Sierra Leone, 28 February 2010. Sixty prisoners share a 25-square-metre cell and are locked in for 16 hours at a stretch with a single bucket for a toilet. There are no beds or mattresses, and scabies and other infectious diseases are rife. Pademba Road Prison in Freetown, Sierra Leone was built to accommodate around 300 prisoners but now holds more than 1,100, including many juveniles.

The Tim Hetherington Grant is a joint initiative of Human Rights Watch and World Press Photo, and was created in honour of the photojournalist and filmmaker Tim Hetherington who was killed whilst working in Misrata, Libya, in April 2011. The grant application process was open to all professional photographers who have participated in a World Press Photo competition between 2008 and 2012

In 2011 American photographer Stephen Ferry received the inaugural Tim Hetherington Grant for his project ‘Violentology: A Manual of the Colombian Conflict’, that highlighted the history and current dynamics of the war in Colombia, while exposing the role of the distinct parties in the conflict.

Enter the 2013 World Press Photo Contest

Entries to the 2013 World Press Photo Contest can now be submitted online after requesting a username and password from the World Press Photo website. Entries to the World Press Photo Contest close at 23:59 CET on 17 January 2013, whilst entries to the 2013 World Press Photo Multimedia Contest close at 23:59 CET on 10 January 2013.

The 2013 World Press Photo Contest jury chair will be Canon Ambassador Gary Knight (VII Photo) and the results of the contest will be announced on 15 February 2013. The results of the 2013 Multimedia Contest will be revealed on 1 February 2013. To find out more about entering the 2013 World Press Photo Contest online please click here.

* World Press Photo receives support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and is sponsored worldwide by Canon.