Foundry 2013 Ends; Yannis Stournas Wins Golden Scarf

Sarajevo, July 21, 2013.  The sixth Foundry Photojournalism Workshop ended tonight with nearly three hours of  student work shown to a packed house, including many Sarajevo residents who came to see the images of their people and city.   The subjects of student stories ranged from mine detection and removal to development of the Sarajevo War Theater.  The presentations included slideshows, mixed still and video materials, and video shows.

The Golden Scarf award went to Yannis Stournas who, according to his instructor Jason Eskenazi, “overcame personal challenges, transcended his fears, and transformed and improved his work to an extraordinary degree” during the week.  Stournas, below, lives in Greece.  He used creative placement of a mannequin in a variety of scenes to portray a wide range of life in Sarajevo.



Attendees at the screening also saw a fourth in the notorious underground “scarf” video.  These humorous videos, produced by instructor Claire Rosen, with acting by other instructors, have become cult favorites of Foundry students, faculty and staff and are only screened at the annual workshops.  They are about the scarf as an icon of photojournalism culture, often focusing on renowned photojournalist and Foundry instructor Ron Haviv, whose clothing trademark is often the scarf.

A special award of thanks was given to Suzie Katz of Photowings.  Founder Eric Beecroft noted that her enthusiasm and support have made it possible for Foundry to award scholarships and pursue many other mission-related activities.  Here Suzie is shown receiving the award from Beecroft (who incidentally lost his beard for the first time in over a decade after an exercise in mis-communication with a Bosnian barber):


Awards were also given to students from each instructor’s classes.  These awards were not always for the best work but instead for the most improvement, the greatest diligence, the clearest vision, the most positive attitude or other efforts of character.  Winners included   Marco Mestrovic, Susan Sermoneta, Sri Utame, Anette Streicher, Carole Alfarah, Erika Cei, Jonathan Clifford, Chris James White, and Francesco Castelli.

The youngest student award went to Lauren Cockrell.

Special recognition was also given to Sarajevo photographers Edin Dzeko and Amer Kapetanovic, who were on the ground, making Foundry in Sarajevo possible.  This included arranging with Sarajevo University for the use of the gorgeous Academy of Fine Arts to getting visas cleared for the Pakistani and Lebanese students who attended.  Here they shown here (L-R, Dzeko and Kapetanovic) with founder Beecroft (Ron Haviv is not so surreptitiously snapping an iPhone photo in the background!):


Finally Eric Beecroft announced that next year’s workshop would be held in Guatemala.  So if you have the least inclination to attend, start practicing your Spanish!

The evening ended with a mass migration to the Sarajevska Brewery, for a night of happy congratulations and sad goodbyes among students, faculty and staff.  Here a table of instructors satisfy their thirst together (L-R, Paula Bronstein, Andrea Bruce, Jonathan Levinson, James Whitlow Delano (obscured) and Jason Eskenazi).


So you can get a full understanding in your mind of what happened over the week, here are a few more images of workshop activities:


Photographers Ron Haviv, Robert King, Tarik Samarah and Imre Szabo, who have documented the action and effect of the Siege of Sarajevo and other Balkan war crimes, gathered together to discuss the 1992-95 Siege of Sarajevo (Szabo from the Serbian side) and relate events.  This tragic time was explored repeatedly in the workshop by instructors and students alike.


Instructor Robert King showed his dramatic reportage of operations of a rebel hospital in Aleppo, Syria, and the determination of the doctors and other medical personnel there to carry on.  King repeatedly mentioned the difficulties that war photography presented to his family, which accompanied him to Sarajevo.  Below is King with his son, Robert, Jr.


Students and attendees used their liberal access to the instructors to learn information on technique.  Below Ron Haviv meets with members of his class and others outside of the Academy of Fine Arts during a classroom break.


One of the great opportunities of the workshop was interacting informally with noted photographers who have played key roles in photography over the years.  Below noted photographer Imre Szabo, who generously made himself available to students, shows his impish side while clowning around outside the Academy of Fine Arts.


I always liked Ben Lowy’s iconic image of Iraqi boys in the evening jumping off the bridge into the Tigris River.  But it was also fun hearing directly from Ben how the shot came about.  Here he is talking about it with the image behind.


Outside the Academy of Fine Arts there were lots of urban vignettes.  One was the presence of street dogs which seemed to have their territories pre-negotiated (doing much better than their human counterparts it seemed!).  In fact they seemed much more mellow that the usual urban dogs.  Here is the one who seemed to have the turf in front of the Academy building assigned – what, me worry?  Not even intrusive photographers bothered this Sarajevo denizen.



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