Young girls dress themselves in mosque appropriate clothing borrowed from a bin at the entrance to the women’s section upon entering the Icherishahaer Mosque for Friday prayers in the old city of Baku, Azerbaijan on July 2, 2010. Image © Amanda Rivkin / VII Mentor Program.
Photographers Laura El-Tantawy, Nafis Ahmed, Jošt Franko and Amanda Rivkin have been selected to join VII Photo’s Mentor Program
The VII Mentor Program was launched three years ago to help young and emerging photographers build and polish the necessary skills to expand their professional practice. The photographers are selected by individual VII Photo members who will mentor them for two years.
Ahmed is based in Bangladesh after studying at the London Guildhall University in Art and Design. He has also received a B.A. from Pathshala, the South Asian Media Academy, with his final semester conducted abroad at the Danish School of Media and Journalism. Ahmed, who will be mentored by John Stanmeyer, “feels compelled to use photography to document the constant changes and impact the collective state of mind of the people,” says the agency.
El-Tantawy, which was featured in BJP last year, splits her time between London and Cairo, where she has been extensively working since the revolution. “Her photographic interest lies in exploring social and political issues, particularly those pertaining to her background,” says the agency. She will be mentored by VII Photo member Ed Kashi.
Franko, a documentary photographer born in Slovenia in 1993, has explored domestic and international social issues, “often touching on the loss of traditional values in the modern world,” says VII in a statement. “Franko’s vision in photography is to document the world, and to thereby unfold, discover and understand it. He believes that his youth and curiosity drive him to pick up themes that are easily and often overlooked.”
Franko, who’s based in Slovenia, will be mentored by Christopher Morris.
Rivkin is an American photojournalist based in Baku, Azerbaijan. She started her career as a print journalism intern at the Associated Press in Madrid in 2007, and later spent time developing several photography projects in Ethiopia and her hometown of Chicago.
“Between 2008-2009 she covered the Midwest region of the United States focusing on local politics, the financial crisis and social issues with The New York Times as a primary client,” says VII. “Rivkin received a Young Explorers Grant from the National Geographic Society in 2010 to photograph life along the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. In 2011 she was awarded a Fulbright fellowship in photography to return to Azerbaijan.”
Rivkin will be mentored by Ron Haviv.
The four photographers will join Giovanni Cocco, Mikolaj Nowacki and Sim Chi Yin, who were selected for the VII Mentor Program last year.
Meanwhile, photographers Peter DiCampo, Erin Trieb and Tanyth Berkeley have left the agency’s programme. “VII would also like to take this opportunity to wish photographers Peter DiCampo, Erin Trieb and Tanyth Berkeley great success in the future following their completion of the Mentor Program,” says a VII spokesman.
For more information, visit www.viiphoto.com.