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Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2020

14 Jan 2020 11:04AM
In celebration of its 40th anniversary, the respected Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA) will return with a new nomination-based submission process.

In a change from the traditional application-based process, submissions to the Leica Oskar Barnack Award will this year come from nominations by 70 esteemed photography experts from over 30 countries. With this new nomination process, the honour of being chosen as a finalist is an accomplishment of its own, as photographers are recognised and hand-selected by some of the most respected figures from the world of photography.

Each of the 70 photography experts will elect 3 photographers for consideration. The only requirements are that the nominee’s work must be a documentary or conceptual work on the theme of the relationship between mankind and its environment, as previously. In addition to the 3 photographers nominated for the main Award, each jury member will nominate one photographer under 30 years old for the Newcomer Award.

“Documentary photography is at the core of Leica’s storied history and a form or photography that continues to be very close to our hearts,” shares Karin Rehn Kaufmann, Art Director & Chief Representative Leica Galleries International, and Head of the LOBA Jury. “It felt right that approaching the 40th anniversary of our Award honouring the original documentary photographer, we raise it to an even higher level of worldwide recognition and prestige with this new panel of nominators.”

The Leica Oskar Barnack Award was founded in 1979 in tribute to Oskar Barnack, who invented the first compact and portable Leica camera in 1914. Past recipients of the Award encompass illustrious names in photography including Sebastião Salgado (twice), Jan Grarup, Dominic Nahr (first Newcomer), Jane Evelyn Atwood, Eugene Richards and Chris Steele-Perkins.

In May, the jury will gather at the Leica Camera headquarters in Wetzlar to select the winner of the 2020 Leica Oskar Barnack Award. For the first time in the Award’s 40-year history, the winner will receive a prize of €40,000 in addition to a Leica camera worth €10,000. The winning series will also be shown as part of a touring exhibition at Leica Galleries around the world and at selected photo festivals.

Additionally, the winner of the Newcomer Award will receive a photography assignment and two weeks of tutoring at Leica Camera AG Headquarters in Wetzlar, as well as a Leica Q camera worth €5,000.

In September, the ceremony to present both winners will be held in at Leitz Park - Leica’s Headquarters in Wetzlar. To celebrate 40 years of recognising talented photographers, a special exhibition will showcase photographs from the 2020 LOBA winner, as well as works from previous winners.

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