Newsha Tavakolian (b.1981, Tehran) has won in the Reports section of the inaugural Deloitte Photo Grant, held in Milan on September 27, 2023. The grant, sponsored by Deloitte Italia in collaboration with the Deloitte Foundation and 24 ORE Cultura, encouraged photographers to explore the theme of "Connections." Tavakolian's project, titled "And they laughed at me," received the top honor, along with a €40,000 prize and the opportunity to organize an exhibition at the Mudec – Museum of Cultures in Milan, scheduled from December 13, 2023, to January 28, 2024. Tavakolian's work portrays the complexities of Iranian society, reflecting her deep connection to her homeland.
Her project speaks to the profound human experiences and struggles in Iran, capturing the ever-changing dynamics of the nation. She said, "Since I began photography at 16, Iranian society has been cyclically pushed to the edge of the precipice, torn, broken, and still compelled to move forward despite adversity." Her project serves as a narrative, testifying Iran's continuous resilience and change. With its "Connections" theme, the Deloitte Photo Grant seeks to celebrate the art of photography, highlighting the power of visual storytelling and its ability to forge connections and convey significant stories.
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