Girma Berta has been selected as one of the three winners of Getty Images Instagram Grant designed to recognize and support photographers documenting stories around the world.
Beyond the excessive filters, the pucker-faced selfies and the salacious bots, Instagram hosts a truly impressive number of great photographers who have heartfelt stories to tell.
In honor of those photographers, Getty Images last year launched the “Instagram Grant,” a program “designed to recognize and support photographers documenting stories from underrepresented communities around the world using Instagram.” The three winners of the grant receive $10,000 and mentorship from one of Getty Images’ photojournalists.
This year’s winners selected by a panel of judges are: Christian Rodriguez of Uruguay, who focused on teen pregnancy in the country;Ronny Sen of Calcutta, India, who highlighted the struggles of people who live in Jharia, a coal-rich city that has been on fire for more than 100 years; and Girma Berta of Ethiopia’s capital city, Addis Ababa.
“My pictures usually focus on the average working-class people in my city and their interaction with it in their daily lives. I go far and wide, documenting various things they do. And recently I have discovered an interest I have developed is my photography of elderly people and their lives. I want people to take more photos of themselves living in their daily lives as well as their daily happenings. I want photography to be part of their daily lives. Because as a culture, photographing subjects and also being photographed is slightly frowned upon. I want it to be as normal as eating food. I want people to even take it a step forward and start telling stories with their pictures because there so much to tell. It takes many more people to document all those great stories. No one person can do this.” Said Girma.
An exhibition featuring the winners’ work will be free and open to the public from Sept. 21-25 at Photoville in New York City.