My Husband Tyler Orsburn’s Dorothea Lange 2012 Award In The Gleaner Newspaper

Berkeley, Copan, Photography, Photojournalism, San Francisco, Tyler Orsburn
Tyler Orsburn Dorothea Lange 2012 Award in The Gleaner

Henderson native Tyler Orsburn is the winner of the 2012 Dorothea Lange Fellowship at the University of California Berkeley

Photography Prize
Former Gleaner photographer and Henderson native Tyler Orsburn was recently named the 2012 winner of the Dorothea Lange Fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley.

The fellowship, in memory of one of the most outstanding photographers of the 20th century, encourages the use of photography in scholarly work of any discipline.

Orsburn, who was awarded $4,000, said he has one year to complete his project, which he said will take him to Honduras to document land reform among the Maya Ch’or’ti, an indigenous people near the Copan Ruinas.

For more:

You can read Tyler’s essay here.

Follow Tyler Orsburn on Twitter or Blogspot, or visit his website.

Honduran Maya-Chortí Land Reform And Photo Essay–2012 Dorothea Lange Fellowship Award Winner

Berkeley, Design, New Maya Language, Photography, Photojournalism

Text and photographs by Tyler Orsburn.

Land reform is taking center stage in northern Honduras. As of August 22, 2011, the Honduran newspaper, El Heraldo, reported 37 murders along the Bajo Aguán River Valley. The problem—a landowner with over 3,000 hectares removed nearly 4,000 families to cultivate and export palm oil.

Land distribution in Honduras isn’t just about pitting the rich against the poor. Seven hours west, along the Guatemalan border, members of the indigenous Maya Ch’orti’ have split into two opposing factions—they can’t agree on how to manage their 30-hectare community parcel. The land in question supports nearly 55 families and sits near the UNESCO World Heritage archeological site of Copán Ruinas.

One Ch’orti’ group, CONIMCH, wants to keep the land intact, while the annex group, CONADIMCH, wants to privatize it. CONIMCH claims that if the land is privatized, it could be sold to non-Maya Ch’orti’ prospectors, thus redirecting food and profits from the community. Tension between the two groups has led people to flee their homes for fear of being murdered. There have been reports of machete and rock-throwing fights.

As a post graduate school initiative I plan to use the Dorothea Lange Fellowship to travel to Copán Ruinas, Honduras. I will embed myself from August to September and document the Maya Ch’orti’ way of life. My objective is to understand how indigenous land reform can mutate from one philosophy to another and how that affects food and social survival.

I’m interested in Honduran affairs because I’m half Honduran. My grandfather was born in Copán Ruinas and was the country’s first director of the Honduran Institute of History and Anthropology. In the 1970s he brought archeologists and anthropologists from the United States to help preserve the ancient ruins and to study the Ch’orti’ ethnic group.

You can read more about Tyler’s (my husband) award and Dorothea Lange here.

You can follow Tyler Orsburn on Twitter or Blogspot, or visit his website.

My Husband Tyler Orsburn Wins Photography Award

Berkeley, Copan, Photography, Photojournalism
Don Mauro harvesting his maize

Don Mauro harvesting his maize

“One should really use the camera as though tomorrow you’d be stricken blind. To live the visual life is an enormous undertaking, practically unattainable. I have only touched it, just touched it.”

Dorothea Lange was an inspiring woman whose influential social photography and legacy has lasted until our days. Now faculty members, graduate students, or seniors who have been accepted for graduate work at UC Berkeley, like my husband Tyler Orsburn who is the 2012 winner of her prestigious fellowship, can enjoy it:

The fellowship, in memory of one of the most outstanding documentary photographers of the 20th-century, encourages the use of photography (black and white or color) in the scholarly work of any discipline at UC Berkeley.

… Applicants must demonstrate outstanding work in documentary photography and a creative plan for future work.

Will post the photographs and essay he submitted for judging, about the modern Maya Chortí indigenous peoples living in Copán Ruinas, Honduras, on this blog soon. In the meantime–congratulations my beloved Tyler!

You can read more about Lange’s life here.

You can follow Tyler Orsburn on Twitter or Blogspot, or visit his website.