Kim Wall Memorial Fund Honors Three Women Journalists with Reporting Fellowships
Grantees will investigate underreported stories in Italy, South Africa and Sri Lanka
WASHINGTON, DC, March 23, 2021 – The family of late independent Swedish journalist Kim Wall, together with the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF), is proud to announce three women journalists as the 2021 grant recipients of the Kim Wall Memorial Fund (KWMF). In its fourth year, the KWMF distributes grants to women journalists pursuing stories outside of mainstream news narratives, similar to those Kim investigated and reported on herself.
This year’s recipients include Stefania D’Ignoti of Italy, Bhavya Dore of India and Bongani Siziba of Zimbabwe. Together, these freelance journalists will bring attention and nuance to girls being trafficked from Nigeria; South Asian adoptees and the adoption system; and, the next generation of Ndebele culture and art, respectively. These stories of displacement and empowerment will work to expand the narrative of global storytelling as well as the risks people take, and the challenges they endure, to fortify the pillars of their own cultures.
Stefania D’Ignoti is an independent journalist currently working in Rome covering the Mediterranean region for a variety of international publications. Her work focuses on migration, conflict, women’s rights and organized crime, and has appeared in The Washington Post’s ‘The Lily,’ National Geographic, The Guardian, BBC and The Economist. A graduate of Columbia Journalism School, she’s received the Maria Grazia Cutuli International Journalism Prize and the Migration Media Award.
D’Ignoti remarked: “I identify with Kim for many reasons – working in Europe, investigating outside of our native languages and working beyond breaking news. The risks she took remind me of my own pursuits; I hope to continue her legacy, because she never would have stopped. I am honored to receive this grant and hope there will be many more women pursuing these types of stories for years to come.”
Bhavya Dore is a Mumbai-based freelance journalist. Her work has appeared in the BBC, The Guardian, Undark, Caravan, Narratively and other international publications. Dore received a degree in English Literature and two master’s degrees in Sociology and Developmental Studies before pursuing a career in journalism, beginning her work at a national newspaper in Mumbai and then moving to freelance reporting. Her previous coverage has focused on juvenile crime, the legal system and education.
Dore noted: “In a year in which we’ve lived through a pandemic, and journalists have been laid off and struggled, it’s especially meaningful to receive this support from the Kim Wall Memorial Fund and the Walls. To be associated with the legacy of Kim Wall is an honor. Her work did not adhere to strict silos or beats; Kim went where her curiosity led her – she was interested in so many things, and so am I.”
Bongani Siziba is a reporter, camerawoman and a photojournalist based in Johannesburg. She has produced television content in several countries and collaborated with many international news networks. Siziba is passionate about women’s issues and reporting on local stories affecting women and girls. She is a journalism, film and television graduate of Boston College, and completed a photojournalism and documentary program at Market Photo Workshop in South Africa.
Siziba commented: “To be a grantee is a steppingstone that will help me report in-depth on stories that are silenced. This grant is not only for me but for all the women who have stories to tell; this journey is not only for me but to keep the memory of Kim alive. Thank you – l am humbled.”
The KWMF selection committee is comprised of IWMF staff members as well as a network Kim’s friends and close family. In 2021, the committee reviewed nearly 100 applications to the fund from 48 countries.
Kim’s parents, who recently released ‘A Silenced Voice’ – the story of Kim’s life before and beyond her death – are proud to welcome these three women journalists to the KWMF: “Stefania, Bhavya and Bongani are pursing complex stories with many layers and dimensions, just as Kim would have done,” said Ingrid and Joachim Wall. “We know that Kim would be deeply interested in these projects profiling unique points of humanity, and we congratulate the women who will pursue these stories.”
About The Kim Wall Memorial Fund
Kim Wall was an award-winning journalist working in print, video, radio and long-form writing.
She reported on gender, popular culture, identity and foreign policy from China, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Haiti, North Korea, India and the Marshall Islands. Her work appeared in a wide range of publications, including The New York Times, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, TIME, Slate, Vice and The Guardian. In August 2017, Kim was killed while on assignment in Copenhagen, Denmark. The Kim Wall Memorial Fund was established by her family and friends to honor her spirit and legacy. The grant supports young female reporters to cover subculture, broadly defined, and what Kim liked to call “the undercurrents of rebellion.” For more information, please visit https://www.rememberingkimwall.com/ or connect on Twitter at @TheKimWallFund and Facebook at @kimwallmemorialfund.
About the IWMF
Founded in 1989, the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) is the only global non-profit organization that offers emergency support, safety training, grants, reporting opportunities and funding avenues offered specifically for women journalists. We are making more women’s bylines possible and work tirelessly to ensure a greater diversity of voices represented in the news industry worldwide. Follow the IWMF on Twitter at @IWMF, on Facebook at @IWMFPage and Instagram on @TheIWMF.