This year, the Leica Oskar Barnack Award enters into its 42nd edition. Based on the submissions made by nominations from all over the world, a jury will decide on the shortlist and winners.
In May, the jury will come together at Leica Camera headquarters in Wetzlar to deliberate. They will come up with a shortlist of a maximum of 12 series for the main category, and 6 for the Newcomer category, and to decide on the winners of LOBA 2022. Once again this year, around 60 photography experts from 34 countries have submitted their proposals.
Based on their expertise and experience, each nominator has submitted up to three photo series. The stipulations for a Leica Oskar Barnack Award nomination require that the photographs be part of a documentary or conceptual-artistic body of work, and deal with the relationship of humanity to the environment. This humanistic constant has defined the event since its inception in 1979; that year the developer of the Ur-Leica, whose name graces the competition, would have been 100 years old.
The 2022 jury includes Alessia Glaviano, head of global photo Vogue and director of the Photo Vogue Festival (Italy); Natalia Jiménez-Stuard, photo editor at The Washington Post (USA); Dominic Nahr, 2009 winner of the Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award and a photographer for outlets like Time (Switzerland), Azu Nwagbogu, founder and director of the African Artists’ Foundation and LagosPhoto Festival (Nigeria); and Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, art director and general representative of Leica Galleries International (Austria).
For the first time, the Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award – which goes to photographers under 30 years of age – will be selected in collaboration with and through the proposals submitted by international institutions and universities from 15 countries.
For example, the Hanover University of Applied Sciences and Arts, which is one of the country’s most renowned universities for its educational department of Photojournalism and Documentary Photography, is participating from Germany. In addition to other European universities from France, Great Britain, Italy and Austria, there are further collaborating partners from every continent in the world. During the summer months, all the shortlisted candidates and their series will be introduced on the competition website.
The announcement of the winners in both categories will be made during the award ceremony in Wetzlar, in October 2022. Following a significant increase in 2020, the prize monies will remain the same for 2022: the main award receives €40,000 (approximately $44,000 / £33,000 / AU$59,000) and Leica camera equipment valued at €10,000 ($11,000 / £8,000 / AU$15,000) ; the newcomer receives €10,000 euros and a Leica Q2.
Furthermore, the winning series will be part of a touring exhibition, that will first be presented at the award ceremony in October in Wetzlar and will then be shown at Leica Galleries and Photo Festivals around the world. The winners and shortlisted candidates will also be presented in a catalogue.