Matilde Simas is a photographer who explores the capacity of photography to generate social change, activate affect, and empower storytelling. Her work focuses on issues of dignity and human rights around the world, illuminating the enduring strength of victims, survivors, people affected by trauma, and the state of endangered ecosystems. In her work, the body and the landscape become subjects of elaborate narratives, but she actively seeks to allow her subjects agency – a way to impact the story and reclaim truth.
In 2017 Matilde founded Capture Humanity, an artistic collaborative organization, in which she is lead photographer and director. The aim is to document humanitarian groups that assist women, children, marginalized communities, and conservation efforts. Patience, commitment, and integrity are the core of their effort to inspire greater creative and social consciousness.
“Faces Behind Atrocity,” a portrait series Matilde created on survivors of labor trafficking, sex trafficking and forced marriage for a United Nations World Day Against Trafficking in Persons campaign, has received the coveted Lucie Foundation Social Cause International Photography Award, Tokyo International Foto Award, and a PRIX de La Photographie Paris Award. Matilde's fine art prints are part of numerous private and corporate collections, including the African Union and the Kenyan National Archives at UNODC and UN Migration.
Currently her photo series “Maasai Custom: FGM” has been selected by LE PRIX DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE DE PARIS (PX3) “State of the World” 2019 Curator, Anna Sansom, to be exhibited at the annual Paris Photo Prize exhibition. "State of the World" exhibition will begin in Paris and will travel to multiple destinations around the world, including Taiwan in August, and more to come. With the “State of the World”, the goal is to bring uncensored news, directly from photographers witnessing events with the guarantee that they are not manipulated by the mainstream media or sensationalized for profit.
SELECTED Photography HONORS + DISTINCTIONS
LE PRIX DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE DE PARIS (PX3) “State of the World” Winner | Maasai Custom: FGM, 2019
2nd Place, Advertising / Annual Reports | PX3 PRIX de La Photographie Paris | Maasai Custom: FGM, 2019
INTERNATIONAL COLOR AWARDS | Wildlife, Male orangutan sits in a tree with soulful eyes, 2018
INTERNATIONAL COLOR AWARDS| People, Maasai Custom: FGM, 2018
1st place, Social Cause | Lucie Foundation International Photography Award | Maasai Custom: FGM, 2018
Honorable Mention, Culture + Traditions | Lucie Foundation International Photography Award | Maasai Custom, 2018
Bronze, Book | Tokyo International Foto Awards | Faces Behind Atrocity, 2018
Bronze, People | Tokyo International Foto Awards| Faces Behind Atrocity, 2018
2nd place, Social Cause | Lucie Foundation International Photography Award| Faces Behind Atrocity, 2017
Honorable Mention | PX3 PRIX de La Photographie Paris| Faces Behind Atrocity, 2017
Portfolio Award | Black and White Magazine, 2017
Portfolio Award | Black and White Magazine, 2015.
Best Documentary Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards, 2018
Best Short Documentary Docs Without Borders Film Festival, 2018
Outstanding Excellence in Social Issues Docs Without Borders Film Festival, 2018
Official Selection, DC Web Festival, 2018
Judge's Choice Award, Human Trafficking Film Festival, 2018
People's Choice Award, Human Trafficking Film Festival, 2018
Official Selection, Toronto Feedback Film Festival, 2018
COLLECTIONS African Union | Collection | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Boston Children’s Hospital | International Gallery | Collection | Boston, MA.
EXHIBITS State of the World PX3 | Paris, 2019 | Engine Gallery |Solo Exhibition |Biddeford, ME, 2019; SDN Bronx Documentary Center | Group Exhibition | NYC, 2018; MIT | Solo Exhibition | Cambridge, MA, 2018; University of New Hampshire | Solo Exhibition | Durham, NH, 2018; Re:Artiste | Group exhibition | New York City, 2018; ICA Gallery at TIFA | Group exhibition | Tokyo, Japan, 2018; Kenya National Archives at UNODC | Solo exhibition | Nairobi, Kenya, 2017; Kenya National Archives at IOM | Solo exhibition | Nairobi, Kenya, 2017; Art to End Slavery at KOBO Trust | Group exhibition | Nairobi, Kenya, 2017.