Leica Women Foto Project Press

Leica Camera Announces Winners of the Newly Expanded 4th Annual Leica Women Foto Project Award

Four awardees from the US, UK, Mexico, and Canada will be recognized for their work


March 8th, 2023 Leica Camera USA is proud to announce, on International Women’s Day, the four recipients of its 4th annual Leica Women Foto Project Award in partnership with Photoville and Women Photograph. For the first time ever, Leica Camera accepted entries from the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Canada in addition to the United States, aiming to expand diverse representation in the photography industry while also fostering inclusion of all perspectives. The Leica Women Foto Project remains an example of Leica’s ongoing commitment to elevating marginalized voices while empowering the female point of view through photography. 

This year’s awardees: Anna Filipova (UK), Eli Farinango (Canada), Greta Rico (Mexico), and Mary Calvert (US) were selected by a panel of notable judges ranging from award-winning photojournalists to renowned contributors to the world of photography. Each winner will receive a Leica SL2-S camera, a Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-70mm f/2.8 ASPH. Lens, and cash prize of $10,000 USD.

Since its inception in 2019, the Leica Women Foto Project has been a platform to cultivate a diverse, inclusive community through photography. The award is a catalyst to reframe how we see, think, and express our visual narrative, while encouraging photographers to demonstrate the importance and impact of a woman’s point of view. To date, the initiative has fueled diversity in visual storytelling through grants and sponsorships with Women Photograph, Black Women Photographers, Photoville, Las Fotos Project, and the ConnectHer Film Festival while co-creating the Leica Women Foto Project Grant for the Leica Society International’s own philanthropic efforts.

“The Leica Women Foto Project aims to illuminate underrepresented visual storytellers through programs and resources that foster the development and amplification of the female perspective,” says Kiran Karnani, VP of Marketing for Leica Camera USA. “With the fourth iteration of the Leica Women Foto Project Award expanding to new territories, we underscore our commitment to the narratives shaped by multicultural perspectives while bearing witness to the moments that impact how we see and interact with our world. We hope that this expansion allows for even more dynamic and nuanced storytelling through the female gaze.”

Leica Women Foto Project Award recipients were determined by a panel of notable judges based on quality of photography, sophistication of project and a dedication to the medium of photography. 

The 2023 panel of judges is composed of:

•    Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, Director, Leica Galleries Worldwide
•    Liz Johnson Artur, Photojournalist 
•    Amanda de Cadenet, Photographer, Author and Media Personality
•    Natalia Jimenez, Senior Picture Editor, The Washington Post
•    Elizabeth Krist, Former Senior Photo Editor at National Geographic
•    Kate Kuo, Director of Photography, LA Times
•    Whitney Matewe, Photo Editor, Time Magazine
•    Mary McCartney, Photographer 
•    Renee Mussai, Senior Curator and Head of Curatorial & Collection, Autograph ABP
•    Nikki Reed, Actress, Photographer 
•    Laura Roumanos, Co-Founder, Photoville
•    Sara Rumens, Features Picture Editor, The Times
•    Jennifer Samuel, Photo Editor, National Geographic 
•    Maggie Steber, Documentary Photographer & Guggenheim Grant Fellow

4th Annual Leica Women Foto Project Winners

Concentrating on documenting social justice issues neglected by the media at large, photographer Mary Calvert has focused her attention for the past nine years on documenting military sexual abuse (MST) in the United States Armed Forces. Her previous work has been selected as a finalist in Feature Photography in the 2020 Pulitzer Prizes and has won numerous awards including the World Press Photo Contest, and the Cliff Edom New America Award. In her shattering project Left Behind, Calvert draws attention to the impact of MST on victims and their families, as well as the scars of trauma that are left long after events of sexual assault.

Inspired by the artist’s own family history, Mexican documentary photographer Greta Rico’s harrowing and illuminating project, Substitute Mother, tells the story of her cousin Siomara, who became a “Substitute Mother“ to her 3-year-old niece following her mother’s murder. This project shows how femicide does not end with murder, but has psychosocial impacts that cause trauma in orphan children, in mothers, sisters, grandmothers and aunts who become “Substitute Mothers“ due to violence.

Eli Farinango, this year’s winner from Canada, explores the vastness and beauty of the healing journey through her documentary photography, exploring the spaces to reclaim ancestral memory through image-making and collaborative processes. Born in Kichwa territory in Ecuador and raised in Algonquin territory in Canada, Farinango's winning project, Wilkay, traces the artist's experience of transformation and healing from abuse and mental illness, allowing her to reconnect with her roots, family, and ancestors in the process.

Choosing to explore unique environmental and scientific topics based in remote and inaccessible areas, UK-based visual journalist Anna Filipova uses captivating imagery and compelling stories to raise awareness for climate change. Her winning project, ARCTIC: THE DARKEST HOURS, explores Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard where the largest laboratory for modern Arctic research is housed, along with research scientists who make up most of the population. This area has the cleanest air on Earth, but also receives circulated air from Europe and North America, allowing for extensive research of post global warming conditions.

Leica Camera continues to amplify the female perspective throughout Women’s History Month by collaborating with Women Street Photographers on the brand's annual Leica Women Summit, taking place April 14th-16th.  The event will feature panel discussions, a featured exhibition, and opportunities to loan a Leica, providing attendees a unique learning and networking experience. To further highlight the female gaze in photography, Leica is also excited to host an exhibition at Leica Gallery LA featuring works from Kathryn Boyd BrolinJaimie JohnsonMadison Krieger, and Lisa McCord, running now through April 24th . Additionally, the brand will hold a virtual conversation with photographers Kathryn Boyd Brolin, Nikki Boon and Tina Rowden on March 30th that is free to attend and open to the public.

To learn more about the Leica Women Foto Project Award, please visit Leica-Camera.com and @leicacamerausa on Facebook and Instagram.

About Leica Camera

Leica represents a union of craftsmanship, design and experience. It is a beautiful collision of art and engineering, and the future of form and functionality. Leica Camera, headquartered in Wetzlar, Germany with a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal, is an internationally operating, premium-segment manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products. The legendary status of the Leica brand is founded on a long tradition of excellence in the supreme quality and performance of cameras and lenses, and the iconic images that artists and photojournalists everywhere captured with them. For more information about Leica visit https://leicacamerausa.com/, or follow the brand on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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