WASHINGTON (July 17, 2008)—The National Geographic All Roads Film Project has announced its 2008 photography program awardees: Khaled Hasan (Bangladesh), Farzana Wahidy (Afghanistan), Alejandro Chaskielberg (Argentina) and Rena Effendi (Azerbaijan).
They were selected from more than 100 photo essay nominees by an advisory board of photographers, National Geographic magazine photography editors and other field professionals. Their work will be exhibited during the 2008 All Roads Film Festival in Los Angeles (Sept. 25-28), Washington, D.C. (Oct. 2-5), Santa Fe (Dec. 3-7) and at additional venues worldwide.
A native of Dhaka, Bangladesh, Hasan recently completed his advanced diploma in photojournalism from Pathshala, the South Asian Institute of Photography. His photo essay “Living Stone: A Community Losing Its Living Environment” focuses on the area of Jaflong on the Piyain River, near the border of India and Bangladesh, whose inhabitants are struggling with the environmental, political and physical effects of the region’s stone-crushing industry.
Under the Taliban’s regime in Afghanistan, women were forbidden from pursuing their education. Wahidy secretly attended an underground school in her hometown of Kabul until the fall of the Taliban allowed her to complete high school and enroll in a photography program sponsored by the AÏNA Photojournalism Institute. Since then she has worked as a photojournalist for both Agence France-Presse and The Associated Press. Her photo essay “Afghan Women” explores the enormous pressures and perils faced by the women of her native land, who enjoy far fewer rights today than they did 30 years ago.
Chaskielberg of Buenos Aires, Argentina, began his photojournalism career at age 18 working for local newspapers and magazines. He received a degree in photography from Argentina’s National Film Institute and has used his experience in documentary photography to create strong visual representations of his subjects. His photo essay “The High Tide: Native Islanders and the Community of the Paraná River Delta” shows a new culture — with its own laws and codes, a byproduct of unemployment and immigration — that has formed in this unique estuary, with a dense forest full of water and silence.
Hailing from Baku, Azerbaijan, Effendi has been a photographer since 2001. Her work focuses on themes of urbanization, post-conflict societies and the effects of the oil industry on people’s lives. She has received several awards and in 2007 was chosen by Photo District News magazine as one of 30 emerging photographers. Her photo essay “Khinaliq Village: A Staircase to the Sky 2003-2006” explores the effects of urbanization on the ancient village of Khinaliq in Azerbaijan, a village whose unique ancient culture is being threatened by the development of a luxury ski resort.
The photography program is part of the All Roads Film Project, which showcases breakthrough films and still photography by and about indigenous and under-represented minority cultures around the globe. To be considered, photographers must be indigenous or under-represented minorities, and their work must document the changing cultures and communities in the country in which they live. Awardees receive cash awards, photography equipment, a new professional Web site and photographic instruction from top editors in their fields — in addition to having their work displayed under the National Geographic banner at premier venues throughout the year. For more information on All Roads, visit www.nationalgeographic.com/allroads.