Following its long tradition of supporting documentary photography, National Geographic magazine has awarded a $50,000 grant to Eugene Richards. This is one of the largest grants awarded in photography and will be given annually.
Richards will be working on a project called "War Is Personal." A series of photo and textual essays, it will focus on people whose lives have been profoundly affected by the conflict in Iraq—soldiers on active duty and those who have returned from war, soldiers' families, an injured veteran, a military contractor, refugees from Iraq, soldiers who have refused to be deployed and a young person recently recruited. Richards' goal is to further the dialogue on the Iraq war and its consequences.
"I am extremely pleased that our judges chose such a deserving and respected photojournalist as Eugene Richards. Having Eugene, an award-winning photographer, as our first recipient of the National Geographic magazine Grant for Photography launches this new grant on a solid course. We are honored to be supporting Eugene and the photography he plans on this socially important documentation of the intimate lives of those directly affected by the war in Iraq," said National Geographic's Director of Photography David Griffin.
The 145 entries for the grant were received from around the world. Judges were Michele Stephenson, former director of photography at TIME magazine; Michel du Cille, Washington Post staff photographer and associate editor; and Jodi Cobb, National Geographic staff photographer.
National Geographic magazine, winner of the 2007 National Magazine Award for General Excellence, is the official journal of the National Geographic Society, one of the world's largest nonprofit educational and scientific organizations. Published in English and 29 local-language editions, the magazine has a global circulation of around 8.5 million. It is sent each month to National Geographic members and is available on newsstands for $4.95 a copy. Single copies can be ordered by calling 800 NGS LINE (647 5463), also the number to call to apply for Society membership.