5th Reportage Grant
Eyes on Main Street Photo Reportage Grant 2022 recipient:
LIVING ON BOMBS
Remains of the Secret War in Laos
Laos is the country that detains "the most per capita bombs in history". More bombs have been released on Laos than those dropped on Europe by the U.S. and Nazis during the Second World War. From 1964 to 1973 the U.S. Air Force dropped the amount of 270 million cluster bombs on the region - an average of one every 8 minutes - as part of a long military operation that was kept secret until 1991.
According to the National Regulatory Authority for Unexploded Ordnance, 30% of these bombs have remained unexploded causing 50,000 victims; 20,000 since the end of the war. This deadly legacy continues today to threaten the lives of thousands of communities in Laos. They still ﬁnd themselves surrounded by unexploded ordnance: it will take about 150 years to reclaim the entire territory.
Laotians have spent about 20 years trying to escape the bombing, taking refuge in thousands of forests and caves where they've built schools and hospitals.
Most of them don't want to enter the caves anymore, because the presence of negative spirits caused by atrocious deaths are still present.
There are all kinds of bombs scattered everywhere underground, hidden among the vegetation but also exposed on the streets, shops, ready to be sold and recycled.
UXO Lao - Lao National Unexploded Ordnance Program - with the help MAG - an international NGO -, constantly operate in teams to clear community land from unexploded bombs.
In some remote villages bombs are used as pillars for houses while others villages base their business on the creation of everyday objects such as spoons, bracelets and pots, obtained from the recycling of bombs, missiles and even American B52 aircrafts, which have become fast canoes used to go ﬁshing.
I started this project in Laos between November and December 2019 with the aim of documenting the remains of what was called the "Secret War" (1964-1973).
Raffaele Petralla, Laos
EOMS is proud to support this very important body of work. The full reportage will be exhibited during the 8th edition of Eyes on Main Street (October 2022 to March 2023)
Eyes on Main Street selects each year ONE PHOTOGRAPHER who receives a $2,000 reportage grant. The goal of this grant is to build a strong photographic portfolio that will be on display during the following edition of our festival.
Eyes on Main Street has become, in eight years, a sought-after festival, popular among global photographers including Sebastião Salgado, Lua Ribeira, Eugene Richards, Mary Ellen Mark, Raymond Depardon, Maggie Steber, Stephen Shore, Susan Meiselas, William Klein and Oh Soon-Hwa, who have participated in the annual exhibitions and public programs.
Candidates submit a digital portfolio, with a link to their website, it is a requirement, and a brief cover letter with the application form to:
The next grant application will open in February 2023
No Entry Fee
There is no fee to apply, all applicants must be at least 18 years old.
The grant recipient will be notified by early April, 2023. Please follow all the guidelines as found on the form (the form will be available in February 2023).
EOMS does organize each year an exhibition with a large selection of images from each reportage grant.
Jerome De Perlinghi
-Andria Hautamaki was the 1st recipient of our new Photo-Reportage Grant in 2019. She worked around the school system in very remote parts of Southern Chile, this reportage was published online by The New York Times.
-Natela Grigalashvili was the 2nd recipient of our Photo-Reportage Grant in 2020. Because of the world health situation in 2020, the reportage had to be postponed to the Spring of 2021. Natela used the grant to complete a reportage around "The Doukhobors Land", that she started several years ago, in Georgia, Europe.
-Irene Barlian, the 3rd recipient of a grant in 2021. Irene worked around her project "Land of the Sea", a story about climate change at the northern coast of Java, Indonesia, through the unique perspective of the community that resides along the region. The majority of the 95.181 km (60,000 miles) of the coastlines in Indonesia are on the brink of inundation with the constant peril of rising sea levels.
-Rachel Wisniewski, the 4th recipient of a grant in 2021. Rachel worked around her Jewish identity and her project "L'Dor, Vador", where she documented the experience and pressure of coming-of-age as a Jewish person by focusing on a specifically Jewish American coming-of-age ritual: sleep-away camp.
Irene Barlian, Java, Indonesia
Rachel Wisniewski, California, USA
Andria Hautamaki, Southern Chile
Natela Grigalashvili, Georgia