Interview by Jahel Guerra Roa, Special projects Manager Ian Parry Scholarship
Alejandro Cegarra, our 2014 winner and latest member of the Ian Parry Scholarship has had a busy year professionally and we’d like to share with you some of his latest news.
We last met Alejandro at Visa Pour L’Image in 2014 to celebrate our 25th Anniversary retrospective exhibition of 35 photographers selected to showcase the achievements of the award. Don McCullin, our Patron handed Alejandro his award on stage in front of an audience of thoughas
With our award prize, Alejandro has been able to accomplish his project proposal about violence in Caracas, Venezuela, ‘Living with Hugo Chavez’s legacy’. He has also been shooting editorial stories for Al Jazeera, Stern and Paris Match.
Abel is 18 years old, and lives in Guanabacoa, a small town outside La Habana, Cuba. In contrast to previous generations, he has not been a victim of gay persecution; yet he admits that Cuba still has a long road ahead to leave homophobia aside.
Most recently, Alejandro has been selected for a solo exhibition at Visa Pour L’Image 2015 and also is one of 12 photographers selected for the Joop Swart Masterclass at the World Press Photo this year. He has joined Getty Reportage as a featured photographer.
All of these and a number of further awards and recognitions garnered over just the last 8-months. Alejandro is currently shooting in Cuba, documenting the country’s recent political & social transitions by focusing on the new acceptance of homosexuality.
He sent us this letter as we announce our 2015 deadline, which is at its essence the reason why we keep on honouring Ian Parry’s legacy and supporting emerging talent around the world.
“Three years ago when I started my photography career in a Venezuelan newspaper as a substitute, I never thought that I would be where I am today, and I wouldn’t be where I am without the scholarship, it has been a unique opportunity in every way.
The scholarship put my work on the map: assignments, editors, you meet photographer who you admire, and that makes you grow. It is like finally opening your eyes. This scholarship is not only recognition and exposure, this scholarship is a family, yes, a family. All those involved make you fell like home, they are there to help you when you need a hand or an advise. When you feel trapped in a world so big, this family will show you the way.
Ian Parry’s brother told me “No matter what you do or who you are in the future, from now on you will always be part of the Parry family” and since then I always try to honour those beautiful words and the Ian Parry Legacy”
“Hace 3 años cuando empecé mi carrera fotográfica en un periódico venezolano haciendo suplencias nunca pensé que estaría donde estoy hoy, y no estaría donde estoy hoy si no fuese por la Beca, que ha sido una oportunidad inigualable en todos los sentidos.
La beca puso mi trabajo en el mapa : asignaciones, editores, conoces fotógrafos que admiras y ello te hace crecer, es como terminar de abrir los ojos. Esta beca no es solo reconocimiento y exposición; esta beca es una familia, si, una familia, todos los involucrados te hacen sentir como en casa, están ahí para ayudarte cuando necesites una mano, un consejo, cuando te sientes atrapado en un mundo tan basto esta familia te señalará el camino.
El hermano de Ian Parry me dijo “No importa lo que hagas ni quien seas en un futuro, de ahora en adelante siempre serás parte de la familia Parry” y de ese entonces en adelante, todos los dias trato de honrar tan hermosas palabras y el legado de Ian Parry”