2021 Leica Oskar Barnack Winners Revealed

2021 Leica Oskar Barnack Winners Revealed

Volleyball game in a state prison in Maracaibo, Venezuela, December 2018. © Ana María Arévalo Gosen

Allendale, NJ—The winners of the 2021 Leica Oskar Barnack photographic competition were revealed. In the award’s main category, Venezuelan photographer Ana María Arévalo Gosen’s series Días Eternos took top honors.

In addition, the Leica Oskar Barnack Award Newcomer Award (for up-and-coming photographers up to 30 years of age), went to German photographer Emile Ducke. His Kolyma – Along the Road of Bones series was nominated by Gaia Tripoli.

The prize monies, which were increased significantly in 2020, remain the same for 2021. Along with the $46,000 cash prize, Ana María Arévalo Gosen will also receive Leica camera equipment valued at more than $11,000.

As winner of the Newcomer Award, Emile Ducke will receive $11,000 in prize money as well as a Leica Q2 camera.

“In the name of the whole jury (Sandra M. Stevenson, assistant editor, Photography, the New York Times; Ralph Gibson, photographer, USA; Santiago Lyon, photographer and head of Advocacy and Education, Adobe, Spain; and Dr. Michael Pritchard, director, Education and Public Affairs, Royal Photographic Society, Great Britain), I would like to congratulate the winners of this year’s Leica Oskar Barnack Awards,” commented Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, art director, chief representative, Leica Galleries International.

“The diversity, the high quality of the series and the many submissions by very young photographers have all truly impressed and touched me.”

2021 Leica Oskar Barnack Award Winner

The Días Eternos series focuses on the harrowing living conditions of women in jail. Arévalo Gosen took the photos of prisons in Venezuela and El Salvador in 2018. Working with a Leica Q, she reveals “with great visual power and impact” the causes and consequences of imprisonment. And not only for the women, but also for their families and for society in Latin America.

Women laboriously try to redesign the space of their “dungeon,” so it is reminiscent of a home. La Yaguara Detention Center, Caracas, Venezuela, March 2018. © Ana María Arévalo Gosen

Arévalo Gosen was born in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1988. She studied Photography at the École supérieure de Photographie in Toulouse as well as at the EFTI (Centro Internacional de Fotografia y Cine) in Madrid. The focus of her work is on projects related to women’s rights and environmental issues.

She received a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting to complete her project. In addition, the series earned her the Lumix Award and the Lucas Dolega Award.

2021 Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award

Emile Ducke garnered the award for his work Along the Road of Bones. Thousands of Stalin-era gulag inmates died during the construction of a highway through the remote Siberian region of Kolyma. When traveling along the so-called Road of Bones, the German documentary photographer looked not only for remnants of the former forced-labor camps but also questioned how they are remembered.

Emile Ducke was born in 1994. In 2017, he decided to put off finishing his college degree in photojournalism and moved to Moscow. He works on personal projects, as well as assignments for international publications.

The Ust-Nera settlement on Kolyma Street. © Emile Ducke

As a regular contributor to the New York Times, Ducke has documented the consequences of the melting permafrost above the Arctic Circle; investigated the legacy of Stalin’s forced-labor camps; as well as captured scenes of traditional life in Chechnya.

His photo essays have appeared in the Washington Post, National Geographic and Spiegel. He is a World Press Photo 6×6 Visual Storyteller and received the n-ost Reportage Prize for his coverage of Eastern Europe.