Kill traditionWritten by duckrabbit
Getty has announced its latest set of grants. Here’s what Aiden Sullivan, vice president of photo assignments, told BJP:
“In these difficult financial times, where it has become something of a rarity to obtain funding from traditional sources, this grant offers something of a lifeline.”
Photojournalism is always going to be a glass half empty whilst it laments the loss of ‘traditional sources’.
How about just dumping the word ‘traditional’ and reflecting what is out there right now?
The greatest set of tools we’ve ever had to tell stories. The largest number of possibilities to tell those stories. Audiences that we can only have dreamed of reaching before. Spaces where authentic voices are prized over agency ones. New revenue streams opening up and more importantly being opened up by visual journalists/storytellers. Those hungry now.
Is it possible that some of the (traditional) grants that exist are a part of the problem?
A small number of gatekeepers with very traditional thinking on photography (stuck in a timewarp), on audience engagement, voting for each other, funding work that often can’t even be given away to magazines for free but will be admired online by the same group of people, or end up in a vanity book and then replicated by the next round of photographers (in medium format). You have to ask yourself is that a tradition that needs saving?
The pace and the pulse is set elsewhere. By people who respect tradition but ain’t going to let the mentality that goes with it kill the amazing possibilities that exist right now (Humans Of New York anyone).