The winners of the Getty Images and Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Grant have just been announced. In total, $25,000 has been awarded to four creatives who identify as queer and who have submitted work based on the theme, Chosen Family.
In an ongoing effort to break down stereotypes faced by the queer community, Getty Images hopes the grant will give LGBTQ+ people more of a platform as research by Visual GPS shows that just 1% of visuals used in media and advertising are taken by members of the queer community.
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Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist and curator Imani Dennison (opens in new tab)came in first place and has been awarded $10,000 from the Getty Images (opens in new tab) X GLAAD (opens in new tab) grant. Using film photography (opens in new tab) and film cameras (opens in new tab), Imani’s work interrogates histories of black culture and African diaspora while reimagining models of Black queer freedom.
In second place and taking home a grant worth $7,000 is Cai Thomas (opens in new tab), a documentary filmmaker from Chicago, US. Cai will use the grant to develop a documentary film where she follows a black lesbian couple's journey to having a child, highlighting the challenges faced and the lack of resources that exist to help such couples with the process.
Alex ‘Lexi’ Webster (opens in new tab), a black queer non-binary photographer also based in Brooklyn was awarded $3,000 to help towards his project which aims to elevate stories of black queer and trans people in all of their different ways. Using photography as a way of healing and liberation, Webster’s work is thought-provoking, vibrant and diverse.
The remaining $5,000 was awarded to the Getty Images LGBTQIA+ Alliance recipient Todd Danforth (opens in new tab). The documentary and editorial photographer and writer is based in LA, California. He explores themes of memory and legacy that are informed by loss through the lens of both chosen and biological families.
This is the first year this particular grant has been awarded and deciding who won was an esteemed panel of judges including Monica Tarsandes, Alec Schmider, Abdool Corlette and Myles Loftin, Landyn Pan, LaQuann Dawson, Joon Park, and Thaddeus Coates.
Since the grant scheme firsts started in 2004, Getty Images has awarded a staggering $2.5 million to the photographic and video community. With more grants aimed at minority communities, we might start seeing a more diverse array of photographers contributing to mainstream media and advertising which enables a wider variety of voices to be heard.