SRINAGAR: Kashmiri photojournalist Showkat Nanda has won the prestigious Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund grant for the year 2016.
The grant was announced on Wednesday in an exclusive report on TIME magazine’s website. Showkat has become the first ever Kashmiri to win this highly-respected award.
“I am very excited. When I first got the news, it was a total surprise for me. This is undoubtedly a great recognition for me in the field of documentary photography,” Showkat said.
He will use the grant, amounting to around 6,500 US dollars, to work on his proposed documentary project that will focus on the painful but resilient struggle of the women whose loved ones have disappeared in the last 26 years of Kashmir conflict.
Grantees were selected by an independent editorial committee from a pool of 140 photographers nominated by 26 international editors, curators, and educators.
Showkat has become one of the very few photojournalists in South Asia to win this coveted honour.
Showkat studied at Kashmir University’s MERC where he obtained an MA in Mass Communication and Journalism in 2007. He graduated with another master’s in photojournalism from the University of Missouri School Of Journalism, a top journalism school in United States, after receiving the prestigious Fulbright fellowship in 2012.
Showkat has earlier won several honours including the National Press Photo Award in 2011 and CSE Climate Change Award in 2015.
He was recently named among the “20 Storytellers of Tomorrow: The Winners of Untold Stories” by VII Agency, a renowned international photography agency.
He presently works as a freelancer and teaches at different universities in Kashmir as a visiting faculty.