For several years we at CLAGS had wanted to work with the Robert Giard Foundation on a project for LGBT artists, but couldn’t come up with the right vehicle. Eventually we hit on a perfect project: a fellowship for photographers and video artists working on queer and trans themes that would honor Robert Giard’s legacy while directly supporting emerging and mid-career artists. With the hard work of our development director Megan Jenkins, and then Giard director Allen Ellenzweig, we created a brand new CLAGS fellowship named in honor of Robert Giard. We never anticipated the flood of amazing applications we received, and we could never have chosen a winner without the dedication of then fellowships coordinator, Shawn(ta) Smith.
The 2009-2010 winner, Sonali Gulati, encapsulates perfectly the goals of both the Giard Foundation and CLAGS. Her beautiful and moving film “I Am” tells the stories of Indian lesbians and gay men and their families: it tells their stories with grace and empathy.