Curator Selection / 2020 / /

HeadStrong: The Women of Rural Uganda

  • Company
    Dan Nelken Photography LLC
  • Photographer
    dan nelken
  • Image Location
    USA
  • Credit
    dan nelken

This ongoing project about the working women of rural Uganda began in Gulu at a quarry. Nearly all the workers who break large rocks into gravel size pellets are female. They earn 1000 UGX ($0.30) for every jerry can of gravel that they fill. This is extremely difficult labor and dangerous work. I placed the women in front of mosquito netting, allowing them to be noticed, appreciated, and valued for their labor and economic contributions. Beatrice Lamwaka, a well-known Ugandan author, is providing the essential African female viewpoint on this project. Theirs are voices that are rarely heard.

Dan Nelken was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, immigrated to Canada with his family, and ultimately to the United States. Obsessed with painting as a Graphic Arts major at Pratt Institute, Dan reluctantly enrolled in the school’s required photography course his junior year. Taking that course unexpectedly and irrevocably changed his life. Throughout his career Dan has pursued long-term projects centered on individuals or groups that exist on the cusp of mainstream American culture. Many of these photographic projects have been exhibited and/or published extensively in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Awards 2020
15th Julia Maragaret Cameron Award First Prize “The Feminine Universe” Quarry Workers
BarTur PhotoAward: Shortlisted
2019
Kuala Lumpur International Photoawards 2019: Unyielding Gaze: First Prize: “HeadStrong: The Women of Rural Uganda”
Tokyo International Foto Awards: Bronze Prize: Portraits: HeadStrong: The Women of Rural Uganda
13 Pollux Awards: People Category Series: First Prize for HeadStrong: The Women of Rural Uganda
Athens Photo Festival 2019: Shortlisted for Portrait Series: “HeadStrong: The Women of Rural Uganda
International Photography Grant: Portrait Nominee: HeadStrong: The Women of Rural Uganda:
2018
Photo Review Best of Show 2018: Third Prize, Juried by Sarah Meister: Akello Shara: Age: 13 Carries a 5 gallon jerry-can of water (41 lbs) for home use twice a day.
Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2018: Selected: Akello Shara: Age: 13 Carries a 5 gallon jerry-can of water (41 lbs) for home use twice a day.
2008
“Smash’em Crash’em: Demolition Derby” Democratic Book #22,
2006
Critical Mass: “Till the Cows Come Home: County Fair Portraits”
Aperture, Portfolio Picks Honorable Mention: “Till the Cows Come Home: County Fair Portraits”
The Rhubarb-Rhubarb free book competition: “Till the Cows Come Home: County Fair Portraits”
COLLECTIONS
The Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, TX
International Center of Photography, New York, NY
Haverford College Fine Art Photography Collection, Haverford, PA
The Center for Photography at Woodstock, Woodstock, NY
Beth Hatefutsoth Museum, Jerusalem, Israel