Photojournalist Moises Saman Receives Guggenheim Fellowship

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Magnum photojournalist Moises Saman was about to step out to dinner in Barcelona last night when he heard some very pleasant news: he had just been awarded the prestigious 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship.

Awarded annually since 1925 “to further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts, under the freest possible conditions” the Guggenheim is one of the most prestigious awards of its kind.

Saman says he had long known of the Fellowship, but assumed it was geared towards topics such as “poetry and science,” he tells TIME. “I knew there’s a photography element but it tends to be fine art.”

Nevertheless, Moises submitted a photojournalism project on the Arab Spring—part of which is shown in this gallery. Shot from 2011 to the present day across Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Kurdistan, Saman says he “felt really strongly about this body of work and felt it was very relevant to the times.”

Saman plans to use the funds to continue the Arab Spring project. Next step? He’s going to Kurdistan in May.

Moises Saman is a Spanish-American member of Magnum Photos and winner of awards from World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year and the Overseas Press Club.

Myles Little is an associate photo editor at TIME.

A rebel fighter in Aleppo, Syria yells "Allah u Akhbar" after the sound of an explosion could be heard close-by during fighting in Old City on March 26, 2013. Moises Saman—Magnum Photos
Injured survivors of an Iraqi Air Force helicopter crash on Mount Sinjar, Iraq lie onboard a rescue helicopter on its way to Iraqi Kurdistan on August 12, 2014. The survivors included Yazidi civilians, Kurdish and Iraqi Army personnel, and journalists. The Yazidis were fleeing persecution at the hands of Islamist extremists who had recently taken over their hometowns in Iraq's Ninevah province. In the high grounds of Mount Sinjar, thousands of Yazidis found safety from ISIS, but also the risk of dying from hunger and thirst. The first rescue helicopter had been sent to save the besieged civilians from that dismal fate, but it crashed into the side of the mountain shortly after takeoff.Moises Saman—Magnum Photos
A makeshift swing made with a plastic chair remains inside a mosque that was occupied by Syria Army soldiers in the front line of the Salahedin district of Aleppo, Syria on March 25, 2013. Moises Saman—Magnum Photos
Protestors stand by a newly erected wall made of concrete blocks built by the Egyptian Army to separate protestors from the entrance to the US embassy in Cairo, Egypt on September 14, 2012.Moises Saman—Magnum Photos
A man selling pretzels climbs the wall of a destroyed house damaged during clashes between youth protestors and Egyptian police near Tahrir Square on the second anniversary of the January 25th revolution on January 25, 2013 in Cairo, Egypt.Moises Saman—Magnum Photos
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, photographed in Tripoli, Libya on August 2, 2011 during an interview shortly before the city's fall.Moises Saman—Magnum Photos

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