Alexey Furman’s Award-Winning Work Features Injured Ukrainian Veterans
Columbia, Mo. (July 20, 2016) — A photojournalism master’s student at the Missouri School of Journalism has gained international recognition for his work featuring injured Ukrainian veterans.
Alexey Furman received the Grand Prize in the International Academic Forum 2016 Documentary Photography Award competition. Furman is a Ukrainian student who has been studying at the School on a Fulbright scholarship before returning to Ukraine to work on his master’s project. His project, titled “Life After Injury,” focuses on the physical and psychosocial rehabilitation of young Ukrainian soldiers who have been wounded in the ongoing conflict with the Russian army and Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine.
“I want to concentrate on their adaptation to peaceful life when they come home, a story that gets overlooked in media outlets and existing photography projects,” Furman said.
Furman noted that the injured solders get little help from the Ukrainian government and little financial support from patrons. They rely on support from relatives and friends as they resocialize and lean to adapt to their injuries. More young soldiers are wounded every week.
Furman has an ability to connect with the people he’s photographing, said photojournalism Associate Professor Keith Greenwood, who chairs Furman’s master’s committee.
“He can see the bigger picture of a conflict, but as part of that he also sees what it means to the individuals who are caught up in it,” Greenwood said. “That seems to have resonated with the judges, too.”
According to the IAFOR website, the Documentary Photography Award is an international photography award which seeks to promote and assist in the professional development of emerging documentary photographers and photojournalists. In making the award, IAFOR noted that the judges conclusively agreed that Furman deserved the Grand Prize for his work.
Furman will receive a cash prize from IAFOR, as well as mentorship and inclusion in more professional training. His work also will be published in the British Journal of Photography.