A student of the Anderson Ranch Arts Center has won the 60th annual World Press Photo Contest.
Amber Bracken began studying with Anderson Ranch last summer. She spent the season being mentored by photojournalists Ed Kashi and James Estrin. That’s when news of the Standing Rock protest over the Dakota Access Pipeline began to spread.
And it was enough of a motivation for Bracken to go to the protest with her camera and start shooting.
“I’ve been following indigenous issues for quite sometime and land rights and their fight to recover from colonization,” said Bracken. “So I was following the situation in Standing Rock from April but it definitely hit a critical mass at the beginning of September that made me kind of realize all at once that this was a movement, and I needed to be there.”
The ranch’s artistic director, Andrea Wallace, said Bracken’s photo essay is exactly the kind of success the Advanced Mentored Studies workshop hopes for in its students.
“It gives them a supportive environment, and that sustained mentorship that’s really critical in working a long-term documentary project,” said Wallace.
Winners were chosen from roughly 5,000 photographers. Based in Alberta, Bracken will return to the ranch this summer. Next week, she’s hoping to get back to Standing Rock.