Food documentary photography wins Marilyn Stafford Award 2020

Isadora Romero's portrait of an undergraduate student doing her thesis on cedar research at the National Department of Plant Genetic Resources (Image credit: Isadora Romero)
Meet the winner: Isadora Romero

Isadora Romero

(Image credit: Isadora Romero)

Isadora has exhibited her work in the Americas and Europe. She won individually and collectively two National Geographic emergency funds as well as a Magnum Foundation emergency grant. She is also the co-founder of Ruda Colectiva, a Latin American women photographers collective.

The Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award has become a fixture in the photographic calendar. Facilitated by FotoDocument and supported by Nikon UK, a grant is given annually to a professional woman photographer, allowing them to showcase important worldly issues through documentary photo essays. 

Their imagery from the grant should address an important social, cultural or environmental issue, and this year the focus on sustainability and global food security comes from winner Isadora Romero. Isadora has won the 2021 award with her project 'Muyu Lab', a photographic series which explores the conservation of agrobiodiversity in Ecuador from a scientific and ancestral perspective and the positive impact for the environment and future generations.

Isadora's work focuses on human identities, gender, and environmental issues, and she has already been widely exhibited in Europe and the Americas.

“I am very excited to receive this recognition, honouring a long history of courageous and pioneering women journalists and storytellers," she says. "It motivates me to continue to tell this story from the communities that fight against the loss of diversity and it allows me to give visibility to an issue that has been under-reported in the visual arts but that is urgent – not only because of what it means for our local communities but also for the future of humanity and the environment.”

Palette of antothypes (ecophotography) made with the juice of the products that are harvested in the community of Camuendo Chico, Imbabura- Ecuador

Palette of antothypes (ecophotography) made with the juice of the products that are harvested in the community of Camuendo Chico, Imbabura- Ecuador (Image credit: Isadora Romero)

This year's runner-up position has been awarded to Stefanie Silber for her photo essay ‘Loud Silence’, which is about families living with stillbirth.

“I can’t believe I have been selected out of the remarkable group of photographers and projects on the shortlist," she says. "I have great hope that this award will open doors to families, communities and funders to realise my dream of a touring exhibition.”

The final work by both winner and runner up will feature on the FotoDocument website in the coming weeks.

Women from any stage of their careers can apply for the Award, whether emerging artists, enthusiasts or established professionals. However, they must have already completed a full documentary photo essay to demonstrate their ability. 

Entries are always free and this year there were submissions from around the world.

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