Getty Images and ARRAY Announce Recipients of the Inaugural Getty Images ARRAY Grant, supporting marginalized voices in film and photography

July 19, 2018 • Grants

Four winners from the USA, Madagascar, UK and Egypt were selected from over 500 global submissions and will be awarded $5000 US to continue their projects exploring fatherhood, feminism, culture and the African Diaspora

Getty Images, a world leader in visual communications, in partnership with ARRAY Alliance, a creative collective founded by filmmaker Ava DuVernay to amplify films made by people of color and women of all kinds, today announced four winners of the very first Getty Images ARRAY Grant. Selected from over 500 global submissions, by a panel of esteemed industry experts, the recipients – two photographers and two filmmakers – will receive $5,000 US each to put towards new or continuing projects.

Launched in May this year, the Getty Images ARRAY Grant was established to elevate the visual narrative of underrepresented ethnic communities such as African American, Caribbean, South Asian, Arab, Indigenous or Latinx for example, and use their medium to progress visual representation.

The winning work had to demonstrably challenge dominant narratives and embrace authenticity and inclusion to drive representative stories.

The 2018 recipients are:


Miora Rajaonary is a photographer born and raised in Madagascar and currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her project ‘Lamba’ explores cultural identity and heritage in her home country by examining the role of traditional garment in the Malagasy society.

Shawn Theodore is a Philadelphia based photographer, whose work encompasses investigations of African American and African Diasporic life within disappearing Black American neighborhoods.  His submission ‘Church of Broken Pieces’ develops myth-based visual narratives to confront constructs of African Diasporic identity as it is challenged by historical and contemporary American and European society.


Curtis Essel is a director of 33 BOUND; a creative collective based in London. His (unfinished) film project ‘AGYA’ (Father in Tiwi, a Ghanaian Dialect) explores the concept of fatherhood, through the experience of Yaw, a father of four from Ghana.

Mayye Zayed is an Egyptian filmmaker and a co-founder of Rufy’s Films; an independent film production company and a collective of 5 filmmakers in Alexandria, Egypt. Her film project ‘Lift Like a Girl, with cinematographer Mohamad El-Hadidi, challenges traditional female stereotypes and celebrates gender equality through the story of a young girl Zebiba, who dreams of becoming a professional weightlifter.

“At Getty Images we believe it is our responsibility support and enable photographers, filmmakers and content creators that are pushing the industry forward, and are especially proud to award these grants to four creatives who are challenging the visual norm and evoking new conversations,” said Andy Saunders, Senior Vice President, Creative Content.  “The creative talent, powerful storytelling and overall quality of work received through this process has been second to none.”

“There are underrepresented images of considerable beauty made within communities of color. Our creative collective was founded on the premise that the visions and voices of marginalized artists must be amplified,” said Mercedes Cooper, ARRAY’s Director of Marketing. “This grant collaboration with Getty has not only fostered the discovery of talent across gender, ethnicity, religion, subject and culture, but also supported ARRAY’s continued celebration of visual work from creators around the world that reflects authentic and artful storytelling.”

The Getty Images Creative Bursary is part of the Getty Images Grants program, which exists to support the world’s most innovative photographers and tell important world stories. Since the inception of the program 12 years ago, the company has awarded in excess of US$1.4 million.

For more information about the Getty Images Grants program, or to submit an application for consideration, please visit Where We Stand.



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