2022 Leica Oskar Barnack Award Finalists

2022 Leica Oskar Barnack Award Finalists

© Rafael Vilela

Teaneck, NJ—Leica Camera announced the 12 shortlisted finalists for the 42nd annual Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA) photography competition. Comprised of world-renowned photographers and editors from globally recognized publications, the jury determined the 2022 Leica Oskar Barnack Award Finalists from proposals submitted by approximately 60 international photography experts from 34 countries.

Moreover, for the first time this year, the Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award was selected in collaboration with proposals submitted by international institutions and universities from 15 countries. The Newcomer is awarded to a photographer under the age of 30. Leica’s partners include the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hanover, Germany, as well as universities across the globe.

The winner of the LOBA receives $40,000 and Leica camera equipment valued at $10,000. The winner of the Newcomer Award receives $10,000 as well as a Leica Q2. Each finalist series is now viewable on the LOBA website through October.

LOBA Awards Ceremony & Exhibit

Furthermore, on October 20, 2022, the winners in the primary and Newcomer categories, as well as the Leica Hall of Fame Award, will be honored during an award ceremony. Following the Celebration of Photography, all the LOBA series go on display in an exhibition at the Ernst Leitz Museum. The exhibit is produced in conjunction with WhiteWall.

© Lynsey Addario

After the exhibition in Wetzlar, the LOBA 2022 presentation will move to other Leica Galleries and photo festivals around the world.

“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,” commented Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, art director, chief representative, Leica Galleries International (Austria) and LOBA juror.

“The fact that we live in challenging times defined by climate change and global crises has also left its mark on this LOBA year. Supporting the work and commitment of photographers around the globe is an increasingly important and meaningful task, which Leica Camera AG is happy to take on.”

2022 Leica Oskar Barnack Award Finalists

Following is an overview of the LOBA 2022 shortlisted photographers and their series, in alphabetical order.

Lynsey Addario: Women on the Front Line of Climate Change

This American photojournalist presents four perspectives on the consequences of climate change. They comprise the women firefighters in Northern California; indigenous women in the Brazilian Amazon fighting slash-and-burn practices and land appropriation; women from flooded areas in Southern Sudan; and women in the drought-plagued regions of Ethiopia. These visually striking images illustrate how the advance of climate change is threatening every aspect of life, be it in Africa, North or South America.

Irene Barlian: Land of the Sea

As the planet’s largest island nation, Indonesia is acutely affected by ongoing climate change. It threatens the livelihoods of millions of people; their displacement has long become a reality. The capital of Jakarta is already known as the fastest sinking metropolis in the world. This is a wake-up call in the form of photography. In the series, the Indonesian photographer documents a humanitarian crisis and the effects of flooding along the coastal regions.

© Irene Barlian
Alessandro Cinque: Peru, a Toxic State

Peruvian mining is still defined by neo-colonial structures. This blackandwhite series, taken by Italian photojournalist Cinque, documents the serious ramifications of unrestrained mining for the local populace. While mining is an important economic asset for Peru, the indigenous communities suffer greatly from the destruction of their vital resources.

© Alessandro Cinque
DOCKS Collective: The Flood in Western Germany

In July 2021, entire areas of Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia were devastated by unusually heavy rainfall as well as flooding. For months, DOCKS, a German photography collective, documented the destruction and suffering, as well as the tough reconstruction efforts. The group founded in 2018 includes Aliona Kardash; Maximilian Mann; Ingmar Björn Nolting; Arne Piepke; and Fabian Ritter.

Valentin Goppel: Between the Years

This German photographer traces the effects of the Coronoa pandemic on his generation as well as young adults. He experienced the sudden break down of old habits and feelings of insecurity. Corona appears as a catalyst for ongoing disorientation. Photography, however, presented a tool with which to better understand his thoughts and fears.

© DOCKS Collective
Kiana Hayeri: Promises Written on the Ice, Left in the Sun

After the withdrawal of Western troops from Afghanistan in summer 2021, it became clear the Taliban would destroy everything that was achieved concerning freedom of expression, women’s rights and education. It would replace them with renewed fear and insecurity. Born in Iran, Hayeri grew up in Canada and lived in Afghanistan for more than seven years. Her work focuses on the difficult living situations for women.

Nanna Heitmann: Protectors of Congo’s Peatland

This series examines active local climate protection with global repercussions. The German photographer introduces the inhabitants of Lokolama, a village in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They are determined to defend their vast, and hitherto untouched peatlands, against the threat of deforestation and resource extraction. Enormously important to the global climate, the area represents one of the largest tropical peatlands on the planet—an ecological marvel that stores billions of tons of carbon.

M’hammed Kilito: Before It’s Gone

Oases are an important ecological buffer against desertification and represent places of biological diversity. In addition to abundant water and the right soil quality, date palms are a crucial element. The balance of these factors is threatened by climate change as well as human intervention. The Moroccan photographer provides insight into this sensitive ecosystem and the intangible heritage of the nomadic cultures of his home country.

Léonard Pongo: Primordial Earth

Inspired by the country’s traditions, craftsmanship as well as mythologies, this series is dedicated to the landscapes of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Belgian photographer Pongo’s approach is highly subjective. Going beyond the material limits of photography, themes of emergence, apocalypse and eternal recurrence are an allegorical narrative about the history of humanity and the planet, with the Congo at its center.

© Léonard Pongo
Victoria Razo: Haitian Migration Crisis

This series focuses on the Dorjean-Desmornes family, whom the Mexican photographer accompanied for two and a half months during their migration to the U.S. What’s more, the family, originally from Haiti, was among the thousands of people who tried to reach the U.S. via Mexico in September 2021. Their fate is representative of those who hope for a better life in the U.S., despite a journey representing years of hardship and risk.

Felipe Romero Beltrán: Bravo

In his photographic essay, Colombian photographer Beltrán, now residing in Spain, places the border region between the U.S. and northern Mexico at the center of his observations. The Rio Bravo is defined by its double status as both a river and the borderline. The project, still in progress, began on the river’s Mexican banks, where everything seems in limbo.

© Felipe Romero Beltrán
Rafael Vilela: Forest Ruins: Indigenous Way of Life and Environmental Crisis in the Americas’ Largest City

The largest city in the Americas stands on former forest lands; it is a large region along the Brazilian coast once inhabited by the indigenous Guarani people. One of the few pockets remaining in the São Paulo area consists of six villages with around 700 Guarani Mbyá. It is also the smallest demarcated indigenous land in Brazil. Moreover, Brazilian photographer Vilela dedicated himself to this indigenous community and questions the standard urban development model in times of climate change.