Jessica Dimmock 2006 Recipient of the Inge Morath Award
Image from Jessica Dimmock’s The Ninth Floor.
Last year, Jessica Dimmock received the Inge Morath Award which was established to encourage young female photojournalists. She shares with us how she found and completed her award-winning photo documentary ‘The Ninth Floor’ about several people in a New York apartment living with drug addiction, and why it’s important to have an award only for women.
How did you find the subject of your photodocumentary?
I was studying at the International Center of Photography at the time. I was on the street fiddling with a digital camera because as of then I had not used one before. I was approached by a cocaine dealer who made it clear that he was a dealer. Over the course of the conversation he made it clear that if I wanted to follow him and photograph him I could. He took me to a variety of places – parties, people’s apartments, the owner of an escort service. The last place he ever took me was the apartment where the project starts. He was arrested shortly thereafter, and I have never seen him since, despite trying to find him. But because he brought me to this apartment and made the initial introduction I went back with prints from my first visit. After that, and some slow starts, I was allowed to return at any time.