The World Press Photo Foundation has announced the 196 nominees for the Joop Swart Masterclass, from which the 12 participants will be selected. Included amongst the finalists are Mary Gelman, VII Photo Agency member, and Mentor Program photographers Swarat Ghosh, Hector Guerrero, Christopher Lee, Esther Ruth Mbabazi, Prin Rodriguez, and Valentina Sinis.
The 6×6 Global Talent Program recognizes six visual storytellers from six global regions, to highlight talent from around the world and present stories with diverse perspectives. Valentina Sinis and Mathias Svold of the VII Mentor Program are two of the new talents from Europe.
Valentina Sinis is an Italian photographer living and working in China. Her work gravitates toward the quirky and unusual. She is attracted to realities and people that normally don’t get coverage in the media.
In Millennials Baghdad, Sinis documents how the young Iraqi population are rebuilding Iraq today, 16 years after the invasion of Iraq promised better lives for Iraqis after three decades of dictatorship. Among these young people, there are artists, emerging designers, intellectuals, photographers, and influencers.
“Watching the growth of Valentina’s work in rapid time has been inspiring. Both her work in China and being one of the few looking at the post-ISIS world in a unique way convinces me that she will be a perfect addition to the 6×6 Global Talent Program.”?— Ron Haviv on nominating Valentina Sinis.
Mathias Svold is a documentary photographer based in Denmark. His work often investigates how climate, people, and communities affect nature. In Coastland, Svold investigates how nature, people, and society use and impact the Danish coast, stretching over 8,750 kilometers. In recent years, there’s been a political debate in Denmark about whether to protect the coast or to develop it for tourism. The sea mercilessly eats away at the coast, placing houses and fields at risk, while climate change creates fear of devastating floods and rising water levels.
“Mathias is a skilled young documentary photographer. He is capable of following a long-term project until the end. He has a strong and consistent visual identity.” — Paolo Verzone on nominating Mathias Svold.
VII Mentor Program photographer Valentina Sinis’ new story “DollMates” is featured in this week’s newsletter. In “DollMates,” Valentina explores the market and culture surrounding silicone dolls in China.
“The DollMates market in China is segmented into three main groups: those who buy silicone dolls purely for sexual use, those who buy them because they want a life partner – someone to love and take care of without the economic and mental pressure of human-to-human relationships – and those who buy them to dress them up and take pictures for use on social media.”
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Stories / Films / Archive
EyesOnChina contributor Valentina Sinis has lived and worked in China since 2004. Based in the Sichuan province, she has immersed herself in the rich culture of the region, has become fluent in the language, and worked to develop a dynamic network of collaborators. These experiences have shaped her aesthetic sensibility and vastly enriched her practice.
Valentina gravitates toward the quirky and unusual. She is attracted to offbeat realities and people existing on the margins. Her photographs illustrate the deep bond she forms with her subjects. She brings to her work a thorough but delicate insight into idiosyncrasies, hidden meanings, and all those subtle gestures that are either taken for granted or sensationalized but rarely investigated.
Her pictures have been published in numerous magazines and newspapers nationwide. Currently, she is working on a long-term independent project in Asia and Middle East, as well as assignments throughout China. Moving forward, Valentina will continue to deepen her engagement in Chinese culture as she seeks to document cultural movements at every level, from fashion and art to contemporary tattooing and music to ancient traditions.
Valentina is mentored by Christopher Morris.
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