September Dawn Bottoms

September Dawn Bottoms, United States

September Dawn Bottoms is a self-taught photographer from Oklahoma, United Statesfocusing on gender and social issues. She gravitates towards projects that start from a connection with certain characters and figures, and how their stories fit into a larger context.

“September Dawn Bottoms a strong talent who's developing a complex personal project on sexual abuse and mental illness in her family,” said Paul Moakley, editor at large, special projects at TIME, and Joop Swart Masterclass nominator.

For her 2020 Joop Swart Masterclass project, September Dawn Bottoms adopts a multimedia approach to take a very close and intimate look at herself and her mother. Constructed in two parts, Bottoms first takes a self-examination of her therapy sessions, where she addresses her own sexual trauma and mental illness. In the second part, she seeks to encourage a more collaborative documentary process and takes the viewer on a journey through her mother’s eyes. 

2020 Joop Swart Masterclass

For the first time, due to the current global health crisis, the Joop Swart Masterclass is taking place online over a period of four months, and 24 participants and eight masters have been selected to make the program more inclusive.

The educational experience of the Joop Swart Masterclass is based on an assignment to produce a photo essay around a given theme. This year the theme is ‘Reset’.

From July to October 2020, the participants will work on their projects and receive mentorship and guidance from the mentors. The final projects will be presented in November 2020. Learn more about the 2020 Joop Swart Masterclass