Hussein Jamil Abdullah, 28, sits on his couch in his army uniform, April 15, 2012, Baghdad, Iraq. On January 22, an Improvised Explosive Devise, IED, detonated near an Iraqi Army base in Fallujah. Abdullah was nearby when the explosive discharged, knocking him to the ground. He lay there for half an hour, his right leg in an jerry-rigged tourniquet made from a headscarf, before he was taken to hospital. Ali Arkady / VII Mentor Program
VII is pleased to announce the next roster of photographers to join its lauded VII Mentor Program, an education initiative launched in 2008 to provide professional development for emerging photographers whom VII consider to be amongst the brightest new talents in the industry.
The photographers, who were chosen from 150 applicants, will each be mentored by a VII photographer for a period of two years, to build and develop necessary skills, expand his or her own professional practice, and help broaden their professional world, such as building relationships with editors, publishers and galleries.
• Poulomi Basu (India) – to be mentored by Stefano DeLuigi
• Maika Elan (Vietnam) – to be mentored by John Stanmeyer
• Ali Arkady (Iraq) – to be mentored by Ed Kashi
• Arthur Bondar (Ukraine) – to be mentored by Donald Weber
• Cristobal Olivares (Chile) – to be mentored by Christopher Morris
The VII Mentor Program has been a critical success and, over the coming months, the agency will be seeking partnerships with other organizations to increase the opportunities it can offer to the mentored photographers. “We hope to develop production grants, training and further skill development initiatives for them,” says VII’s Gary Knight.
“The VII Mentor Program is unique in that it offers an opportunity for photographers from all over the world – especially those from a majority of the world where photographic opportunities are much harder to find – to have access to expertise, experience and a platform to distribute their work worldwide with one of the most prestigious photo agencies in the world today,” says VII photographer Ed Kashi.
Anastasia Taylor-Lind, who joined the Mentor Program in 2009 and is now a full member of VII, says: “When I joined the Mentor Program in 2009 I was working part-time as a chiropractor’s receptionist to fund my documentary projects. I knew how to make pictures then, but not how to be a photographer. My mentor Ron Haviv taught me how to find my photographic voice and by the time I left two years later I was a fully fledged full-time photojournalist.”