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Photography alumni triumph at Graduate Photographers Awards

Two of our Photography graduates and one current student have taken top honours at the prestigious Magnum Graduate Photographers Awards. UCA Farnham alumnus Charan Singh, UCA Rochester alumnus Nicholas Constant and current PhD student Erin Solomons received the accolades at the Photo London exhibition. Run in partnership between Magnum Photos, Photo London and RBB Economics, the Graduate Photographers Award aims to identify and nurture the UK’s best early-career photographers. 

Charan Singh said: “It’s an extraordinary feeling to be appreciated by a photographic institution such as Magnum. I didn’t expect to be recognised in this way so quickly.” Prior to moving to the UK in 2012, Charan worked in India as an HIV campaigner, only moving to the UK to study Photography after a chance meeting with two of our academics, who recommended he think about studying the subject. Since graduating he has gone on to study his doctorate with the Royal College of Art.

Charan Magnum Graduate Photography Award

Photo by Charan Singh

UCA Rochester PhD student Erin Solomons said: “My time at Photo London was an amazing and enriching experience. Everyone I met, from fellow winners to industry professionals at the portfolio review, helped me revisit my project and consider it in a different light. That alone has already made this opportunity worthwhile.” Erin’s work, Vulnerably Defective Forgetfulness, explores the expectations of identity through the idealisations of the American West. “This series focuses on shape, rather than symbolic features,” said Erin, who is in the first year of her practice-based PhD research. “I feel that being able to work with a photographer connected to Magnum will bring further expertise, a wealth of knowledge and opinion to the development of my project.” she said.

Erin 2 Magnum Graduate Photography Award

Photo by Erin Solomons

The final prize winner was our Photography graduate Nicholas Constant, who collected the award for his work documenting post-conflict Bosnia. “I went to places of importance to the war – such as mass graves, execution points and detention centres – and shot them in a picturesque way, to bring people to these locations and then have them face their reality,” said Nicholas. “It feels unreal to have won this award. Since I started to take photography seriously I was captivated by the work of Magnum photographers, so now to be recognised by them really is a dream come true.”

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