The two winners of the 2022 Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA), the renowned international photo competition that was held for the 42nd time this year, have now been selected.
In the main category of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award, it was Kiana Hayeri – born in Iran and brought up in Canada – who convinced the jury of five. Her project, the “Written on the Ice, Left in the Sun” series, was proposed by no less than three nominators. For the Leica Oskar Barnack Award in the Newcomer category, it was German photographer Valentin Goppel who prevailed, with his “Between the Years” series. His work was submitted by the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hanover.
Kiana Hayeri: Promises Written on the Ice, Left in the Sun
Leica Oskar Barnack Award winner, 2022
After the withdrawal of Western troops from Afghanistan in the summer of 2021, it took only a few days for the Taliban to destroy all the achievements made in the areas of freedom of expression, women’s rights and education, and to instil fear and insecurity in their place. The photographer was born in Iran, in 1988, and brought up in Canada. She has been living in Afghanistan for seven years now; her work centres, in particular, around the living situations of women.
Kiana Hayeri: “My work focuses on Afghan women; the same women who were put at the centre of war efforts to liberate them, shortly after the Americans invaded Afghanistan. Today, many of these women feel that they have been abandoned and left behind. Afghanistan is a place of extremes, where the best and the worst of humanity live side by side. Fear and courage, despair and hope, life and death coexist.”
Kiana Hayeri grew up in Tehran, Iran, and moved to Toronto as a teenager. Faced with the challenges that come with adapting to a new environment, she adopted photography as a way to bridge the linguistic and cultural divide. Her work often deals with complex subjects, such as migration, adolescence, identity and sexuality in war-shaken countries. In 2021, she was awarded the Robert Capa Gold Medal for her photo series “Where Prison Is Kind of a Freedom”, which documented life for Afghani women in Herat Prison. In 2020, she received the Tim Hetherington Visionary Award, and became the sixth recipient of the James Foley Award for Conflict Reporting. The photographer is a Senior TED Fellow, and writes regularly for The New York Times and National Geographic. Hayeri currently lives and works in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Valentin Goppel: Between the Years
Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award winner, 2022
Young adults in times of Corona: the series by the German photographer (born 2000) explores the impact of the pandemic on his generation. He, too, experienced the sudden break away from habits, and the feelings of insecurity that seemed to define people’s plans and the future. Corona was like a catalyser for an ongoing sense of disorientation. Photography, however, offered Goppel a tool with which to better understand his thoughts and fears, and enabled him to give the sense of forlornness visual expression.
Valentin Goppel: “The pandemic was an exceptional situation for all of us. We were suddenly fighting against demons, which we had held back by means of familiar distractions. It is amazing how similar the experiences of these last years were for me and my friends – and yet, we all felt so alone. My state of limbo drags on.”
Valentin Goppel began to take portraits of his friends as a teenager. His first exhibition led to an apprenticeship with a photographer. He has been studying Documentary Photography in Hanover, since September, 2019. He has received his first assignments from publications, including Spiegel and Die Zeit. He is currently working on his first photo book about the feelings of youths.
Quote from Karin Rehn-Kaufmann
Art Director and Chief Representative Leica Galleries International
“On behalf of the whole jury (Alessia Glaviano, Head of Global PhotoVogue and Director of the PhotoVogue Festival, Italy; Natalia Jiménez-Stuard, Photo Editor of The Washington Post, USA; Dominic Nahr, Photographer, Switzerland; and Azu Nwagbogu, Founder and Director of the African Artists’ Foundation (AAF) and the LagosPhoto Festivals, Nigeria), I would like to congratulate the winners of this year’s Leica Oskar Barnack Awards. Once again this year, we were impressed by the diversity and high quality of the series submitted; it was particularly delightful to see the many young participants, as well as the higher proportion of women photographers. An especially big ‘thank you’ goes to our very professional jury, who always kept the human touch at heart -- as well as to all our dedicated nominators from all around the world.”
The LOBA is one of the most highly endowed and prestigious awards in the field of photography. The winner of the LOBA receives 40,000 euros and Leica camera equipment valued at 10,000 euros; the winner of the Newcomer Award receives 10,000 euros and a Leica Q2.
On 20th October 2022, the two winners will be honoured during an award ceremony, and an exhibition displaying all twelve shortlisted series will be opened, within the framework of a major Celebration of Photography. The 2022 LOBA catalogue, which will include the full series and background information concerning the winners and the ten shortlisted candidates, will accompany the exhibition.
The exhibition of the winning and shortlisted series has been produced with the kind support of WhiteWall. Further information on this year’s winners can be found at: www.leica-oskar-barnack-award.com
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