ALEXIA FUNDATION: PROFESSIONAL GRANT to JUSTIN MAXON and JUDGES SPECIAL RECOGNITION to KATHRYN COOK

Justin Maxon

We’re proud and honored to announce that the Alexia Foundation Professional Grant has gone to Justin Maxon. In addition to Maxon’s grant award as the professional winner, Kathryn Cook earned a Judges Special Recognition.

Justin Maxon, the winner of the 2012 Alexia Foundation professional grant will receive a $15,000 grant toward the completion of his project which aims “to shed light on the frightening reality of how many murders go unsolved every year in America.”

Justin Maxon is an independent documentary photographer living in San Francisco. Maxon has received numerous awards for his photography, from competitions like World Press Photo, UNICEF Images of the Year, POYi, and NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism. He won the Deeper Perspective Photographer of the Year at the 2008 Lucie Awards, the same year he was named one of PDN’s 30 Emerging Photographers to Watch. He was selected to participate in World Press Photo’s 2010 Joop Swart Masterclass. Maxon was also the second place student winner in the 2008 Alexia Foundation competition. He is one of only two photographers to have earned Alexia Foundation grants as a student and professional.

There were 191 professional applications this year, which the judges narrowed down to three finalists.

In addition to Maxon’s grant award as the professional winner, Kathryn Cook earned a Judges Special Recognition award and will receive special grant funding from Aphrodite and Peter Tsairis, the co-founders of the Foundation, to complete her project “Memory of Trees,” which “explores the aftermath of the ‘denied’ 1915 Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey, and the reality of living as an Armenian in Turkey today.”

Kathryn Cook is a documentary photographer based in Rome, concentrating on personal projects and assignments. A graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder, she began her career with the Associated Press in 2003 in Panama. In 2006, she left the AP to do an independent project covering Evo Morales’ campaign to become Bolivia’s first indigenous president and to document his support base. She then moved to Istanbul to begin work on the project that has received the Judges Special Recognition award.

The competition was judged at Syracuse University on Feb. 25, 2012. The judges were Whitney Johnson, Director of Photography at The New Yorker, Kira Pollack; Director of Photography at Time; and Maggie Steber, independent documentary photographer.

About the Alexia Foundation:
The Alexia Foundation was created by Peter and Aphrodite Tsairis to honor their daughter Alexia, one of 35 students studying abroad under the auspices of Syracuse University, who died as a result of a terrorist bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie Scotland.
The Alexia Foundation promotes the power of photojournalism to give voice to social injustice, to respect history lest we forget it and to understand cultural difference as our strength — not our weakness.
Through grants and scholarships, The Alexia Foundation supports student and professional photographers as agents for change. The Alexia Foundation is dedicated to providing students and professionals with the means to produce visual stories that drive change.

Alexia Foundation

Justin Maxon

Kathryn Cook