Announcing the 2017 Tim Hetherington Fellowship

Erika Diettes' work on display in Mexico

Erika Diettes' work on display in Brazil

The 2017 Tim Hetherington Fellowship is awarded to Erika Diettes, to develop her project about violence, mourning and memory in Colombia’s five decade long conflict. The fellowship is a collaboration between the Tim Hetherington Trust and World Press Photo Foundation to honor Tim Hetherington’s legacy.

Stephen Mayes, Director of the Tim Hetherington Trust, said:

"Erika Diettes checks every box: journalistic rigor in her research, emotional expression in her art and real world impact in her execution. She demonstrates the enormity of the Colombian conflict simultaneously with the intense personal agonies of individual grief. Her work both documents the consequence of atrocity and offers personal succor to the bereaved. While the details of the Colombian conflict are specific to the region, the experience of violent loss is global. Erika’s work describes the scale and warns of the consequences of violence while simultaneously offering structures for recovery. The Tim Hetherington Trust is proud to partner with the World Press Photo Foundation to bring her story and her talent to an international audience. We all have much to learn from her stark warnings and her inclusive approach to healing."

Lars Boering, Managing Director of the World Press Photo Foundation, said:

“It is a great pleasure to award this fellowship to Erika Diettes. Together with the Tim Hetherington Trust we are committed to rethinking education, ensuring talent is connected to new networks of support and supporting visual storytellers who embrace Tim’s exploratory and interdisciplinary attitude. Erika’s remarkable work is one of the great examples of real stories told in highly creative ways to maximise impact. We’re excited for the exchange that will result from her interacting with our community."

Erika Diettes explained how her work has evolved:

"From an early age, I focused on becoming a storyteller, and hence my academic choices – I studied visual arts and journalism, with a focus on audio-visual communication, followed by a master’s degree in social anthropology.  When I started the project Drifting Away (2007), I started delving not only into the subject of violence, but also into the areas of mourning. Departing from these stories, one project led to the next, and the recognition and the courage by the mourners to share their stories with me, led the way to continue from one project to the next. I became committed to honoring the pain mourners felt because of their lost loved ones. I have been working for several years from the testimonials that were shared with me by various victims of the armed conflict in Colombia. The set of accumulated years of listening about the violence, as well as the life testimonies and the mourning processes generated the visual forms that I propose; they arise with the clear intention to open a space to honor, exalt and dignify the memory of a country striving to learn from its history."

About the Tim Hetherington Fellowship

The fellowship is a collaboration between the Tim Hetherington Trust and the World Press Photo Foundation to honor Tim's legacy. Originally a grant, the Tim Hetherington Trust and the World Press Photo Foundation launched a new fellowship in 2016 following consultation with the Hetherington family.

Tim was committed to finding new ways to tell compelling stories about politics, conflict, and the human experience, and to relay these stories to a wide audience. The fellowship, instead of providing funds for an individual project, offers new ways of supporting photographers so they can expand Tim's legacy in new and creative directions.

Together, the World Press Photo Foundation and the Tim Hetherington Trust support beneficiaries by focusing on the opportunities for them to be involved in the media economy, either through support for education or by connecting them to the best international networks.

The fellowship assists visual storytellers by providing access to training or mentorship so they can further their projects and mission. Fellows become part of sustainable network focused on innovative processes and permanent education. The fellows from each year will become part of the network and will play a role in selecting new fellows. The aim is to grow and strengthen a network of multiple skills that provides ongoing support.

The selected fellow will receive support to the value of €5000, to be provided equally by the Tim Hetherington Trust and the World Press Photo Foundation and its partners.

About Erika Diettes

Erika is a visual artist with a master’s degree in anthropology. Her artistic production - linked from the very onset to photography - explores memory, pain and death from a multidisciplinary perspective. It directly confronts witnesses and victims of diverse social and political conflicts with works in which they are both protagonists and objects of study and contemplation, encompassing pain, loss and mourning.

Erika’s 2016 book Memento Mori includes three of her projects: Sudarios (Shrouds), photographs printed on linen of women who have witnessed atrocities committed against their loved ones; Río Abajo (Drifting Away), images of articles of clothing of “the disappeared,” photographed in water and embedded in glass; and Relicarios (Reliquaries), three-dimensional works of polymer containing mementos and personal effects of the victims.

Erika’s work has been exhibited in different settings linked to the memory processes of various groups of victims in Colombia. Her work has also been exhibited in Colombian cultural institutions like the Museum of Antioquia, the Modern Art Museum of Bogota, the Colombian National Museum, and the Colombian National University Museum, among others. In the international sphere, her works have been displayed at the Centro Cultural Recoleta (Recoleta Cultural Center, Buenos Aires), ExTeresa Arte Actual (Modern Art Museum, Mexico City), the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and other institutions in the United States, Australia, Poland, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Ecuador and Chile.

Watch a short video about Erika Diettes' work and see more at

About the Tim Hetherington Trust

The Tim Hetherington Trust exists to preserve the legacy of Tim’s professional life as a visual storyteller and human rights advocate. This includes the safe archiving of all physical materials and to manage the intellectual and artistic use of his work. The Trust works to advance the application of Tim’s ideas and images in all ways that promote the intellectual integrity of his work and which expand the artistic expression of his vision.

Core to this is the support and nurture of new work that continues the ideals demonstrated by Tim with special emphasis on humanitarian and social concerns. The Tim Hetherington Trust encourages individuals and organizations that continue in Tim's footsteps, exploring innovative media processes that enhance audience engagement with the issues and inspiring others to excel in the execution of effective communication.

See more at

Posted April 26 2017

About The World Press Photo Foundation

We are a global platform connecting professionals and audiences through trustworthy visual journalism and storytelling. Founded in 1955 when a group of Dutch photographers organized a contest to share their work with an international audience, the competition has grown into the world’s most prestigious photography award and our mission has expanded. We encourage diverse accounts of the world that present stories with different perspectives. We exhibit those stories to a worldwide audience, educate the profession and the public on their making, and encourage debate on their meaning.

The World Press Photo Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization, based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. We receive support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery and are sponsored worldwide by Canon.