Jamie Sinclair is the fifth recipient of the Rebecca Vassie Memorial Award.
Sinclair receives £2,000, plus £500 credit at Metro Imaging, for his project ‘Hjem (home)’ which he says will “intimately narrate the experience of asylum seekers and refugees being settled into northern working class towns”.
Judges for this year’s award included Caroline Hunter (picture editor, Saturday Guardian magazine), Phil Coomes (picture editor, BBC news online), critic and curator Jennifer Thatcher, photographer Ben Bird, theatremaker and journalist Adam Barnard, and Rebecca’s mother Janet Vassie. The judges were impressed by Sinclair’s passion both for the rights of refugees and for his hometown of Ashington, where since 2015 he has collaborated on the Ashington District Star, a seasonal photographic journal funded by Arts Council England and inspired by the Pitmen Painters of Ashington with each issue recreating a Pitmen Painting through contemporary photography.
Highly commended by judges this year was Rebecca Conway, for her proposal ‘Aftermath, Nepal’, which seeks to document historic civilian trauma in central Nepal. Conway wants to focus on the impact on the mental health of communities in two districts in central Nepal, following the ten-year Maoist insurgency and conflict against government forces, where there have been some 60,000 complaints of human rights violations, 17,000 deaths and 1,500 disappearances. Conway receives £600 seed funding from the Trust towards her project.
Also shortlisted from more than 80 applications were Chris King, Anita Staff and Will Templeton. Ten longlisted applicants gain access to the Trust’s Development Network, which disburses small grants towards education, training and practice development.
The next Rebecca Vassie Memorial Award will be open for submissions in late 2023/early 2024.