Cocoa Laney, SACI 2018 MFA in Photography graduate, is the LensCulture 2018 Street Photography Awards 3rd place series winner for her photo series Gaps.
Gaps, a series resulting from Laney’s experience with the Italian language barrier after moving to Italy, explores missing pieces of language and culture, embodying a sensation characterized by both nearness and distance that can come with living in a foreign place.
The winners of the LensCulture 2018 Street Photography Awards include 39 photographers who are reinvigorating and redefining the genre of street photography today, selected from images submitted by photographers from over 170 countries around the world. Along with the other winning images, Gaps will be exhibited in France this summer during the opening week of the world-renowned photo festival Les Rencontres d’Arles. The presentation will be held at Cosmos Book Fair as a digital exhibition from July 2-7, 2018.
Laney describes the series as very dear to her, as well as the catalyst she needed to become fluent in Italian.
“After moving abroad, I quickly became aware of the missing pieces in the mental picture I had begun to build of my new home. Filling in the blank spaces in my comprehension of language and culture is a slow and daunting process, but by documenting the experience, I am giving shape to both the closeness I feel to Florence and the barriers I have yet to overcome.”
Earlier this month, Laney was also shortlisted by the selection panel for IPE 161, the 161st edition of the International Photography Exhibition. The exhibition is held by the Royal Photographic Society, one of the oldest photographic societies in the world. IPE 161 celebrates photography today by offering insight into current trends and subjects, and provides a platform for the photographers of tomorrow.
See more of Cocoa Laney’s work on her website.
Learn more about the MFA in Photography program at SACI.