Gina Castro Named 2023 Fran Ortiz Photojournalism Grantee

Author: Kim Komenich
May 18, 2023

SFSU Photojournalism senior Gina Castro will receive the 2023 Fran Ortiz Photojournalism Grant to continue work on her project “Lo Que La Tierra Deja Atrás” (What the Earth Leaves Behind.) The project will explore the world of California’s senior citizen agricultural workers.

“This project is important because it centers on people who are reaching retirement age but cannot retire,” Castro wrote in her application. “Work is taking a toll on their bodies… they work overtime, more than 5 days a week.” “I plan to continue going back and photographing them while working but also at home, to document the physical and mental toll of the work on their bodies. Once finished, I plan on publishing this project on my website but also making a small book. I do believe that these are stories people should be aware of as there are so many people affected by this, (and) many are undocumented,” she said. “I want to help people. I want to tell their stories.”

This year’s judges were Mabel Jimenez, Visual Desk Editor for CatchLight Local California, former Reuters Washington D.C. Photo Editor Gary Cameron and SFSU Department of Journalism Professors Scot Tucker and Josh Davis. The Fran Ortiz Photojournalism Fund was founded in by Gary Cameron and the Photojournalism Faculty to honor San Francisco Examiner photographer Fran Ortiz,  who was SFSU’s first photojournalism teacher. Castro will receive a $3000 stipend and mentorship during the summer, 2023 production period.

Gina Castro Lo Que La Tierra Deja Atrás #1
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