Stephanie Sinclair

Stephanie Sinclair is known for gaining unique access to the most sensitive gender and human rights issues around the world. “Sinclair’s poignant and enduring coverage of atrocities experienced by vulnerable young girls and women portray the cruelty of barbaric practices such as child marriage, genital mutilation, acid attacks and harsh realities faced by women and girls around the world. Her photos are deeply intimate and touch your soul. Courage is not only defined by facing risk on the front lines of war but also displaying emotional and intellectual courage required to continue to bear witness to scenes of despair with eloquence and compassion.” — Award Jury She has documented the defining conflicts of the past decade with a fearless persistence. Her widely published images of the occupation of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan refute characterizations of violence in anything but human terms. Although she has covered the dramatic events of war, many of Ms. Sinclair’s most arresting works confront the everyday brutality faced by young girls around the world. Her studies of domestic life in developing countries and the United States bring into sharp relief the physical and emotional tolls that entrenched social conventions can take on those most vulnerable to abuse. Ms. Sinclair’s images mark an exchange of trust and compassion. But by consenting to be photographed at their most vulnerable, the people depicted in these images also demonstrate a rare bravery. The ongoing capstone of Ms. Sinclair’s career is her 15-year series, Too Young to Wed, which examines the deeply troubling practice of early, forced and child marriage as it appears in a variety of cultures around the world today. Beyond photography, Ms. Sinclair has shepherded the Too Young To Wed series into a nonprofit organization of the same name whose official mission is to protect girls’ rights and end child marriage. As the Too Young To Wed’s Founding Executive Director, Ms. Sinclair has sought to use the power of visual storytelling to provide visual evidence of the human rights challenges faced by girls and women around the world. The organization amplifies the voices of courageous girls and women in order to generate attention, passion, and resources and to inspire the global community to act to end child marriage. But Ms. Sinclair is not content to simply draw attention to the issue. Too Young to Wed also transforms influential advocacy into tangible action on the ground through partnerships with international and local NGOs and by supporting initiatives in the communities where the girls in the stories live. “It is a tremendous, if bittersweet, honor to win an award in Anja’s name. I’ve long been a fan of IWMF’s mission and am humbled and proud that your jury would recognize my photojournalism in this way and be one of the women journalists supported and empowered by your organization. Not only will this award support my continued work, but I am grateful for the awareness such a high profile honor will bring to the stories I shared in my application.” — Stephanie Sinclair

Highlights