The Visura Editors' Picks: Part III

Visura Blog
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Visura is delighted to present this year's Editors' Picks, a multi-part series curated by leading photo editors in the industry highlighting powerful visual images by Visura members. Each image is accompanied by a short reflection from the guest editor. 

A special thanks to the Visura community, its participants and contributors. No one person acts alone!

(Part III / III)

Rachel Moore, Executive Director at The Current

"I am drawn to work that charges us with accountability and a call to action. Kilito's image is a gorgeous balance of beauty with stark undertones. It not only represents the devastating oasis degradation in Morocco, but also serves as a warning signal for the climate crisis and our response."

In the dry and arid desert, the presence of palm trees is synonymous with the presence of water. This is the last cluster of palm trees in what was an oasis 15 km from the town of Assa. (Photo by M'hammed Kilito)

M'hammed Kilito

Documentary Photographer
Based in Rabat, Morocco
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M'hammed Kilito (b. 1981, Russia) is a documentary photographer based in Rabat, Morocco. His work focuses on capturing narratives that help understand the relationship between groups or individuals and their environments, by covering issues related to cultural identity, the sociology of work and climate change.

In 2021, Kilito joined the VII Photo Agency as part of the VII Mentor Program, he is as well selected by Ateliers Medicis and the Centre national des arts plastiques (Cnap), to take part in the French national photographic commission: "Regards du Grand Paris" and was designated as north African regional coordinator for the 2022 World Press Photo Contest.

In 2020, Kilito was chosen by the British Journal of Photography among the 18 best emerging photographers from across the globe to watch, was the winner of 6x6 Global Talent by World Press Photo, became a National Geographic Explorer, received The Photography Prize of the Fondation des Treilles and won CAP Prize, the Prize for The Contemporary African Photography. This same year, he co-founded KOZ, a collective of four Moroccan visual artists working on long-term projects and sharing a passion for storytelling.

His work has been shown at festivals and venues worldwide. His photographs have been featured in magazines and newspapers such as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The British Journal of Photography, Vogue Italia, L'Express, VICE Arabia and El Pais.
Kilito holds a Master of Arts in Political Science from Ottawa University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Montreal.

Heidi Volpe, Director of Photography at Patagonia

"Ash’s work gives structure to the intersection of culture and community, to me her work evokes resilience. The viewer is left accountable, questioning the individualism in the hopes of seeing pluralism and the concept of community in our natural world, with natural light. That’s a powerful use of art.

She helped co-found Show and Tell Alaska, a mentorship program to address the lack of diversity in photojournalism and specifically in her home state of 10 years; yet another example of how she weaves community and honors reciprocity."

ANCHORAGE, AK -- Saturday, February 27, 2021: Warren Jones stands for a portrait in the Chugach Mountains in. Anchorage, AK. (Photo by Ash Adams, assisted by Sarah Pulcino)

Ash Adams

Based in Anchorage, Alaska
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Ash Adams is a photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Anchorage, Alaska who works primarily for national and international media.

Adams' work has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Mother Jones, Rolling Stone, TIME, GEO, Stern, Aljazeera America, Patagonia and other national and international publications.

Adams is a recipient of a National Geographic Society grant for an extensive project in 2018 and 2019, a 2018 VSCO Voices grantee, and was named one of Time’s 51 Instagram photographers to follow in 2016. In 2019, Adams was awarded one of six Sony Alpha Female Creator-in-Residence awards to work on a project in various regions of the United States in 2020.

Gail Fletcher, Photo Editor & Producer at The Guardian

"This image by Johis Alarcón drew me in immediately. It was a refreshing reminder that we can still, like these young children have, find moments of joy despite the challenging times we are in."

Ecuador Community: Education during the pandemic, 2021. When the pandemic struck Ecuador it forced many indigenous and African-Ecuadorian families to return to the places they were born. This work highlights a renewed sense of community in the Andean highlands and the coastal rainforest bordering Colombia. (Photo by Johanna Alarcón for The Guardian / Magnum Foundation, 2021)

Johanna Alarcón

Photojournalist & Visual Storyteller
Based in Ecuador
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Johanna Alarcón (1992) is a freelance photojournalist and visual storyteller based in Ecuador.

Johanna´s work is focused on social justice, human rights, and gender related issues. She is a National Geographic Explorer and member of  Ayün Fotógrafas, Fluxus Foto,  Visura.Co, Fotoféminas, Women Photograph.  

Selected for Photography and Social Justice Fellowship Magnum Foundation (2021), Joop Swart Masterclass World Press Photo (2020), 6x6 Global Talent South America (2019).  Her work has been published in The New York Times, Bloomberg, The Guardian, Volkskrant, Reuters, UN Women, among others. Selected for the New York Times portfolio review (2019),  Eddie Adams and Women Photograph Workshop (2019). Her work has been exhibited in Montevideo Photography Center (2021), Photoville Festival and Latin American Photography Festival Bronx Documentary Center (2019-2020).

Her recognitions include: Community Awareness Award Photographer of the Year International  (2021), First Place in Photographer of the Year Latinamerica Health Category (2020), FotoEvidence Book Award - CovidLatam (2021), Grantee of COVID-19 Magnum Foundation Found (2021), Open Society and Gabo Foundation's fund for investigations and new narratives on drugs (2020), Will Riera Award  (2019), Everyday Projects and Visura Co Mentorship (2018-2019), AECID Africamericanos Grantee Ecuador (2018), Tutor of the 20f Campament in Bolivia (2018), Honorable Mention in the photo book competition RM (2017)  Currently, she works on assignments and her personal projects.

Kate Bubacz, Director of Photography at BuzzFeed

"This quiet image of a billboard in New Mexico by Donna Ferrato speaks to the ongoing and intensifying fight around abortion rights in this country. 

Ferrato has long explored violence against women within our society, and this frame, with battle lines drawn in barbed wire and opinions broadcasted from a billboard on high, alludes to the subtle and persistent ways that a woman is forced to choose sides."

A pro-life billboard on Interstate 25, on the western side of Belen, New Mexico, 2015. (Photo by Donna Ferrato)

Donna Ferrato

Based in New York, New York
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Donna Ferrato is an internationally acclaimed photojournalist known for her groundbreaking documentation of the hidden world of domestic violence. Her seminal book Living With the Enemy (Aperture, 1991) went into four printings and, alongside exhibitions and lectures across the globe, sparked a national discussion on sexual violence and women's rights.

In 2011, Ferrato launched the "I Am Unbeatable" campaign to expose, document, and prevent domestic violence against women and children through real stories of real people. Ferrato's most recent work focuses on the spirit and evolution of TriBeCa.  

She has been a member of the Executive Board of Directors for the W. Eugene Smith Fund and was president and founder of the non-profit Domestic Abuse Awareness (501-c3). She has been a recipient of the W. Eugene Smith Grant, the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Outstanding Coverage of the Plight of the Disadvantaged, the IWMF Courage in Journalism Award, the Missouri Medal of Honor for Distinguished Service in Journalism, Artist of the Year at the Tribeca Film Festival, and the Look3 Insightful Artist of the Year.

In 2008, the City of New York proclaimed October 30 "Donna Ferrato Appreciation Day." In 2009, she was honored by the judges of the New York State Supreme Court for her work advancing gender equality.

Deirdre Finzer Read, Deputy Visual Research Editor at Oprah Daily

"Acacia’s work speaks to me in the purity of the environment it captures, Alaska: one of the last Frontiers that I have yet to visit.  

I love her nature shots: Puffins (being an avid birder, these are on my bucket list!) & Walruses.  We need to do all we can right now to heal this broken/sick world and save Mother Earth."

Horned puffins float below a seabird cliff on Round Island, Alaska. The Walrus Islands are an important breeding area for seabirds, which nest on its many cliffs. (Photo by Acacia Johnson for National Geographic, 2021)

Acacia Johnson

Photographer, Artist & Writer
Based in Anchorage, Alaska
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Acacia Johnson is a photographer from Alaska whose work often explores human relationships to the natural world. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2014, Acacia received a Fulbright grant to spend a winter on Canada’s Baffin Island, where she developed a love for life in the Arctic that still influences her work today. Since then, much of her work has focused on the Polar Regions, in an effort to inspire wonder and compassion for the earth’s wild places during a time of dramatic change.

Acacia’s work is housed in collections including the Anchorage Museum and the Smithsonian Museum of American History. Her documentary work has been commissioned by National Geographic, the New York Times, TIME, and many others. In 2020, she was featured on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list for Art and Style, and in 2021 received the Canon Female Photojournalist Grant.

Acacia also works as a seasonal expedition guide and lecturer in Greenland, Svalbard, the Canadian Arctic, and Antarctica. She has made over 55 expeditions to the Polar Regions for work and personal projects and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Virginia. She is based between Alaska and Scandinavia.

(Part III / III)

The Visura Editors' Picks: Part III
Copyright Visura Blog 2022
Updated Dec 2021
Topics News, Spotlight