BRITISH JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY IPA AWARD
Edmund Clark has won The British Journal of Photography International Photography Award for his new project, Guantanamo: If the light goes out. Some of the work can be seen online at lens culture. One of the judges, Nick Galvin from Magnum Photos, said of the Guantanamo series: “Intellectually stimulating work.”
PRIX PICTET 2009
Winner of the £60,000 Prix Pictet photography prize for environmental sustainability is British based photographer Nadav Kander who was nominated for his series of photos Yangtze, The Long River Series, 2006-07 “documenting the rapidly changing landscape and communities of China’s Yangtze River, from its mouth to source”. Kander also scooped the $10,000 Lucie Awards IPA Prize in the International Photographer of the Year category with Elliott Wilcox as the Discovery of the Year and Rachel Papo as the Deeper Perspective Photographer of the Year (sponsored by Blurb). See earlier Hot Blog post on Wilcox.
To embargo or not to embargo?
I received the announcement of the winner last week but the press release was embargoed until 21:00. This raises the question of press embargoes and whether they are acknowledged. On a quick web search Katie Clifford found this post from aphotoeditor which was published before the embargo time. This begs the question as to whether, in a digital world where individuals can self publish in real time, embargoes have any meaning. What happens when an embargo is not respected? If someone wants to “break” news, is it now a case of fastest fingers first? Later, aphotoeditor posted a reply to an email from a disgruntled press dept upset about him “breaking their news embargo”. “I think it’s insane that you would email blast bloggers the winner of a prize you haven’t handed out yet. PR at its worst,” he posted. Any views on this welcomed?
The other Prix Pictet announcements are a photography commission to American photographer Ed Kashi. Kashi has been “commissioned to visit Madagascar with the Azafady team in order to produce a series of photographs that will highlight many of the issues that Azafady are focusing on in this unique and endangered environment. An exhibition of the work made for the commission will launch the 2010 prize in Spring 2010”. Mark Jacobs, Director of Azafady UK said “Madagascar’s extraordinary biodiversity stems from the island’s long isolation from other landmasses. With over 80 per cent of its plant and animal wildlife found only on this island it is as important as protected areas like the Galapagos Islands. But this unique ecosytem is under threat and poverty is playing a large part in the destruction of the country’s natural environment. While international attention often focuses on the needs of mainland Africa, the island of Madagascar is rarely thought of…”
FREEDOM TO CREATE PRIZE
The shortlist for the 2009 Freedom to Create Prize has been announced. The prize was established in 2008 and “is a celebration of the courage and creativity of artists around the world who use their talents to promote social justice, build the foundations for open societies and inspire the human spirit. It is open to artists in all creative fields”.
Freedom to Create founder Richard Chandler praised the bravery of this year’s 1,015 artists from 110 countries who entered the prize. The five short-listed finalists in the Main Prize section are:
Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf, has “dedicated his craft to highlighting social justice issues both in his native Iran and in neighbouring countries such as Afghanistan”
Born in a refugee camp in Western Sahara, Aziza Brahim is “a world musician whose songs have been outlawed in Morocco for championing the human rights of the Saharawi refugees in one of the world’s least-understood conflicts”
Former war photographer Karim Ben Khelifa “draws on his experience and skill to create images which redefine and humanize the current conflict between Palestine and Israel”
Afghan female artist Sheenkai Alam Stanikzai uses video performance, installation and photography to tackle the subjugation and violent persecution of women in Afghanistan and neighbouring countries.
Burmese refugee women’s group, The Kumjing Storytellers, use giant paper mache dolls in an installation piece designed to represent their stories of ethnic persecution in Burma and the plight of migrants and refugees from around the world.
Imprisoned Burmese poet and installation artist Saw Wei who was jailed for two years in November 2008 for publishing a love poem which contained a code criticizing the leader of the Junta.
There are three categories: Main, Youth and Imprisoned Artist sharing in an overall prize fund of US$125,000. For more details about the prize and short list in the other two categories, visit Freedom to Create. The winners of this year’s award will be announced on 25 November.
“The Freedom to Create Prize is the only award of its kind in the world. It celebrates the power of art to fight oppression, break down stereotypes and build trust in societies where the social fabric has been ripped apart by conflict, violence and misunderstanding,” said Mr Chandler. “Of most importance, the Prize also celebrates the bravery of artists who pursue their craft despite great danger to themselves.”