(April 2008) National Geographic magazine has awarded its second annual $50,000 photography grant to Jonas Bendiksen, to support his work on global urbanization.
Born in Norway in 1977, Bendiksen began his photography career as a 19-year-old intern in the London office of Magnum Photos. He left London to travel through Russia to pursue his own work as a photojournalist. Since then Bendiksen, who is based in New York, has worked on numerous articles throughout the world, including his ongoing project about the world's slums.
National Geographic magazine announced its photography grant in 2006 as a means of supporting worthy documentary photography. Grantees are chosen based on the merit of their portfolio and proposal, regardless of whether the project would be published by National Geographic. In addition to financial support, the grantee will have full access to the facilities provided to the magazine's regular contributing photographers as well as the assistance of a picture editor. The grant was awarded for the first time in 2007 to Eugene Richards, for a project to document those profoundly affected by the conflict in Iraq.
Judges for the 2008 grant included Elisabeth Biondi, visuals editor for The New Yorker, Andy Grundberg, administrative chair of photography at the Corcoran School of Art & Design, and Gail Fisher, senior photo editor at National Geographic magazine.