CAMBRIDGE, MA.- The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology
announced the selection of the 2010 Robert Gardner Fellow in Photography. Following an international search, the Gardner Fellowship committee awarded the Fellowship to Stephen Dupont, a prize-winning Australian photographer whose work has appeared in the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Time, and Rolling Stone, among other publications. Dupont will be working on a project entitled "Guns and Arrows: The Detribalization of Papua New Guinea".
Over the past six years, Dupont has traveled to Papua New Guinea, photographically documenting its changing face and the powerful impact of globalization on the fabric of its traditional Melanesian society. Guns and Arrows, the proposed project, will continue this work. From the recasting of tribal society into an urban proletariat and the effects of violence and lawlessness in Port Moresby to the westernization of traditional society in the Highlands, it will be an in-depth study of cultural erosion as well as a celebration of an ancient people. He plans to use 35mm, 6x6, panoramic, and Polaroid formats for documentary street photography, landscapes, and portraiture; weaving single images, contact sheets, composites, and video grabs into multiple forms: a traditional exhibition at the Peabody Museum, a book with the Peabody Museum Press, and an interactive web presentation.
I think these modern approaches are needed to fully exploit photographys still-untapped power to move, motivate, and change the world, says Dupont. The project will be a reflection and a meditation on a unique place, and it may also be seen as a warning for other, seemingly more secure cultures.
Prof. William L. Fash, William and Muriel Seabury Howells Director of the Peabody Museum, noted that Duponts work echoes that of famed photographer-filmmaker Robert Gardner, who funds the Fellowship. Robert Gardner shot his most provocative film Dead Birds about the Dani people and their then-traditional hunter-gatherer culture in New Guinea, and it has inspired visual anthropologists ever since, he said. Stephen Duponts courageous portraits of the people of Papua New Guinea share not only a geographical connection with Gardners work, but also a commitment to capturing scenes from within a culture, scenes that reveal truths about the culture and humankind.
Stephen Dupont has produced photo essays from dozens of countries, including some of the worlds most dangerous regions: Afghanistan, Angola, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, India, Iraq, Israel, Rwanda, Somalia, and Zaire. In April of 2008, he survived a suicide bombing while traveling with an opium poppy eradication team in Kabul. He has earned many prestigious photography prizes, including a Robert Capa Gold Medal citation from the Overseas Press Club of America; a Bayeux War Correspondents Prize; and first places in the World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International, the Australian Walkleys, and Leica/CCP Documentary Award. In 2007, he was awarded the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanitarian Photography to continue Narcostan or The Perils of Freedom, a multi-media project documenting the effects of the drug trafficking in Afghanistan.
Dupont has held major exhibitions in London, Paris, New York, Sydney, Canberra, Tokyo, and Shanghai, and at Perpignans Visa Pour LImage, Chinas Ping Yao and Hollands Noorderlicht festivals.
Duponts handmade photographic artist books and portfolios are in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, National Library of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Australian War Memorial, The New York Public Library, Berlin and Munich National Art Libraries, Stanford University, Yale University, Boston Athenaeum, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and Joy of Giving Something, Inc.