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Promised Land / Tierra Prometida awarded 2023 Creator Labs Photo Fund
lisa elmaleh
Oct 8, 2023
Location: US - Mexico Border
Announcing the Winners of the 2023 Creator Labs Photo Fund

Google’s Creator Labs and Aperture are thrilled to announce the recipients of the second season of The Creator Labs Photo Fund—an initiative providing financial support to encourage artists at formative moments in their careers. Started in 2021 and made possible by Google Devices and Services in partnership with Aperture, the second season of the Creator Labs Photo Fund supports thirty artists working in photography and lens-based practices with a one-time $6,000 grant.

The winning artists of this year’s Creator Labs Photo Fund are:

Ramie Ahmed, Wesaam Al-Badry, Devin Blaskovich, Kierra Branker, Luis Corzo, Daniel Diasgranados, Lisa Elmaleh, Ryan Frigillana, Golden, Jeremy Grier, Avijit Halder, Oji Haynes, Jenica Heintzelman, Ramona Jingru Wang, Natalie Keyssar, Ryan Patrick Krueger, Xi Li, Ira Lupu, Yael Malka, Ashley Markle, Ashley McLean, Arlene Mejorado, Shala Miller, Clara Mokri, Colton Rothwell, Keisha Scarville, Tam Stockton, Jennifer Teresa Villanueva, Isaiah Winters, and Zhidong Zhang.

Lisa Elmaleh

Around three years ago, Lisa Elmaleh began volunteering with humanitarian aid groups at the US-Mexico border, returning over time to make photographs of the landscape, aid workers, and migrants along the border. Unlike much of the photojournalism documenting the border—often characterized by quick snapshots of action or dramatic newspaper front pages—Elmaleh’s photographs, made with her 8×10 camera, operate with a different approach. “The whole process is slow,” she says. “I get to know each person that I’m photographing. I get to know the landscape in which I’m traveling.” Collectively, the photographs entangle the vast, harsh landscape—where Elmaleh has joined aid groups in search parties for migrants who have gone missing—with the soft portraits of those affected by a history of US policies. The result complicates a narrative often told in short, distinctly presented stories; in lengthening everything from the time spent on a single picture to the long-term goals of her work and activism, Elmaleh tells a story, years in the making, of empathy in a time of migratory crisis.

Lisa Elmaleh Photography

Lisa Elmaleh, 1984, USA, lives in West Virginia and photographs with an 8x10 camera across the United States and at the Mexico Border.
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