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12 February 2013

Press Release
for immediate use


© Zed Nelson South Sudan – The Nation Makers South Sudan, 2011
Zed Nelson is 2013 Photoworks British School at Rome Fellow

The 2013 Photoworks Senior Research Fellowship in photography and lens based media at The British School at Rome (BSR) has been awarded to Zed Nelson. His residency will run from April – June 2013.

Nelson’s research project will focus on an ill-fated migrant boat journey across the Mediterranean in 2011 that ended in tragedy.

Zed says, “The boat's occupants - all from sub-Saharan Africa - were trying to escape poverty or seek political asylum in Europe. All were desperate to make it to the relative safety of Europe, to escape the violence in Libya. Running low on food, water and petrol, the overloaded boat quickly got into difficulties. The terrified passengers called an Eritrean Catholic Priest in Rome who alerted the European authorities. But the boat was left unaided and adrift. The passengers begin to die, one by one, in one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.
“Through the use of photography, written text and film, I aim to research a body of work that not only explores the event itself on a human level, but also interrogates our often confused and contradictory views on immigration and our responsibility towards those who risk everything for a better life.

The Fellowship selection follows an open submission call to mid-career photographers. Photoworks Acting Director and Head of Programme, Celia Davies, explains, “The Fellowship is set up to support photographers' practice; to provide a rare and much needed opportunity to create time and space for artists to develop their ideas in a conducive, stimulating and supportive environment. In relation to Zed's own line of enquiry, it was easy to see how this residency and context would genuinely allow Zed to push forward his way of working. His research proposal points towards a step change in his practice, we are keen to see the developments and outcomes of this residency.” 

BSR Director, Professor Christopher Smith adds "The British School at Rome is delighted to host another Photoworks Fellow. Our partnership with Photoworks has provided a unique opportunity for a photographer, but has also been part of the role that photography and its practitioners have played in the life of the BSR, from its extensive resource of archive photography to the contributions over many years of artists who have used photography as a central part of their practice. We are proud to be co-sponsors of this exciting residency opportunity, and to be partners to the UK’s leading agency for photography."
[See below for further images]

Notes to Editors: 

All images cleared for use with credit. High res images are available on request.

Photoworks is the UK’s leading agency for photography. Photoworks commissions new work, curates exhibitions and events including the Brighton Photo Biennial, publishes books and the journal Photoworks. Collaborating with a broad range of artists and organisations, engaging the widest possible audience, Photoworks encourages debate and inspires new thinking about photography.

The British School at Rome (BSR) is a centre for research on the archaeology, history and culture of Italy, and for contemporary art and architecture. It serves the needs of scholars and fine artists from the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. The BSR is one of the research institutes sponsored by the British Academy, and is one of a large group of international academies in Rome.
The Photoworks Fellowship at The Bristish School at Rome
This is the third Photoworks Fellowship. The Photoworks Fellowship was the first specific photographic fellowship offered at the British School. The inaugural Photoworks Fellow in 2009 was David Spero. The 2011 Fellow was Sian Bonnell. 
Born in Uganda, Zed Nelson graduated from Westminster University, London, with a degree in photography & film-making. Nelson’s recent work increasingly reflects on contemporary social issues that confront Western society. His second and most recent book, Love Me (2010), reflects on the cultural and commercial forces that drive a global obsession with youth and beauty and was nominated for the 2011 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.

Press enquiries to Photoworks on 01273 643 908

© Zed Nelson In This Land, Israel/Palestine, 2009-2012
© Zed Nelson  Hackney – A Tale of Two Cites, London, 2008 –2012

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