Award 2018-19

Chrystal Ding was the third recipient of the Rebecca Vassie Memorial Award for her project looking at the role of therapy in the lives of survivors of the genocide in Rwanda. See the resulting work published on BBC news here.


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From ‘Yours is Going to Be Healed As Well’ by Chrystal Ding. The day this picture was taken was the first time Jean-Claude ever shared the story of what happened to him during the genocide. He was 8 years old at the time, 6 when he started to hear the gunshots that signalled the beginning of the perpetrators’ training. He stands looking out over where the gunshots came from. He holds his back because that is where he feels his pain most.

Rwanda project 2019

From ‘Yours is Going to Be Healed As Well’ by Chrystal Ding. Denise’s ears bleed when she is alone and unable to stop herself from thinking about what happened to her. It might happen while she is at home alone, or while her brother is at school during the day and she is farming. She feels that what happens to her happens as a result of loneliness, but coming to the group will diminish her pain.

Two further applications were highly commended; David Shaw‘s LGBT+ Football – photographing the LGBT+ support and fan groups throughout the English football leagues – and Graeme Weston‘s Under Seven Feet – documenting the growing community of Londoners living on and around London’s waterways. Along with Ding, Shaw and Weston also received membership of Shutter Hub, and project support from the Trust.

Also shortlisted from more than 130 applications were Andrew Abrahamson, Adib Chowdhury, Daniel James Homewood and Chris King.

Portrait of Chrystal Ding by Diarmuid McGarry.

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