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Goal
Since 1985, the International Center of Photography has recognized outstanding achievements in photography with its prestigious Infinity Awards. The awards ceremony is also ICP’s primary fundraising benefit, with its revenues assisting the center's various programs.

This year MediaStorm produced films for the following winners: Lifetime Achievement: Bruce Davidson; Applied: Alexandra Bell; Art: Samuel Fosso; Artist's Book: Dayanita Singh, Museum Bhavan; Critical Writing and Research: Maurice Berger, Race Stories column for the Lens section of the New York Times; Documentary and Photojournalism: Amber Bracken; and Emerging Photographer: Natalie Keyssar; and for Online Platform and New Media: Women Photograph.

Samuel Fosso, a Cameroonian-born Nigerian photographer, reflects on his life’s work in self-portraiture. Over the last 40 years he has embodied many different figures in his self-portraits, from athletes to politicians. In his most recent series, titled “Black Pope,” he challenges the Catholic veneration of whiteness by portraying a Black pope.

In this film, Fosso takes a step back to examine his own motivations behind his creative choices and processes. He also evaluates the social and political undertones of his work, giving us a glimpse into the mind of a visionary at work.

Client: Harbers Studios, International Center of Photography
Published: April 9, 2018

The Challenge
Samuel Fosso’s work is as original as it is personal. He is both the subject and creator of his images, just as any self-portrait photographer, but what makes his process truly unique is his spiritual connection to each subject he chooses. In order to tell this story, MediaStorm sought to understand Fosso’s psyche and motivations. In interviewing Fosso, we found that despite his willingness to put himself in the spotlight as the subject of each of his images, he largely believes that his work speaks for itself. In trying to unlock the story behind Fosso as an artist, we had to dive deeper into Fosso’s beliefs as a person.


The Solution
The duality of Samuel Fosso as the person and the artist proved to be not a limiting factor, but rather, a storytelling element that enhanced the film. In showing Fosso’s frame of mind while creating a piece and juxtaposing his beliefs about the ideas and intentions, we were able to show Fosso as a multidimensional artist and person that ultimately made for a more dynamic documentary subject.

The Results
The film premiered on April 9, 2018 at the ICP Infinity Awards Gala in New York City. The film was a special feature of the evening, and a critical fundraising tool.

About the Client
This film was a collaboration with Harbers Studio and the International Center of Photography.

Harbers Studios turbocharges the efforts of charitable entrepreneurs by helping them tell their stories. Our goal is to help them articulate and share the value of the work they do so they can inspire others to help them do it. Working with some of the best filmmaking talent in the world, Harbers Studios creates compelling visual narratives that enhance the endeavors of organizations working to make the world a better place.

The International Center of Photography (ICP) is the world’s leading institution dedicated to the practice and understanding of photography and the reproduced image in all its forms. Through exhibitions, educational programs, and community outreach, ICP offers an open forum for dialogue about the role images play in our culture. Since ICP’s founding, they have presented more than 500 exhibitions and offered thousands of classes, providing instruction at every level. ICP is a center where photographers and artists, students and scholars can create and interpret the world of the image within our comprehensive educational facilities and archive.





Individual Films

In a career that spans a lifespan, Davidson has used his camera to explore the world. From his iconic work “Brooklyn Gang” to “E.100th St.”, his work stands out for its intimacy with its subjects and long lasting impact. Watch it now.

Culture historian and art critic, Maurice Berger, uses his monthly column in the New York Times to explore racial literacy through visual literacy. He uses the power of photography and the written word to urge his readers to think about their own racial attitudes and to reflect the works of photographers of color, whose voices are often not seen by the mainstream art world. Watch it now.

Alexandra Bell draws on her journalism background to examine how words and images expose the media’s racial biases. In her signature work, Counternarratives, she re-imagines stories from the New York Times to create more equitable framings. Watch it now.

Tired of being quiet about a problem that has long persisted in journalism, Daniella Zalcman sought to address the hiring gap between white men and women, and people of color. The result is Women Photograph. Watch it now.

Natalie Keyssar has spent years documenting the consequences of unrest and economic turbulence in Venezuela in the aftermath of Hugo Chavez’s death. In her work, she explores the impacts of the violence on individuals and on society at large, demonstrating the effectiveness of the camera as a window to the world. Watch it now.

For decades, Samuel Fosso has used self-portraiture to question political and social norms in Africa and America. In his latest series, Black Pope, Fosso challenges the Catholic veneration of whiteness in contemporary visual culture. Watch it now.

In her latest work, Museum Bhavan, Dayanita Singh seeks to put the power of curation into the hands of the reader, to make the work accessible to a broader demographic. The result of her work is an object that is personal, interactive and portable, and one she hopes will encourage other photographers to recognize the importance of dissemination. Watch it now.

Drawn to photography in her quest for social justice, Amber Bracken, started working in the indigenous communities of her hometown, Alberta, Canada, to learn about their struggle for land rights. When she heard of protests in Standing Rock, she chose the camera as her weapon of choice to document a struggle for sovereignty. Watch it now.

Since 1985, the International Center of Photography has recognized outstanding achievements in photography with its prestigious Infinity Awards.Watch it now.





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