Shortlisted photographers for $35,000 Deutsche Börse prize announced

Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2023
Arthur Jafa, Bloods II, 2020 (Image credit: Arthur Jafa)

The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize has just announced the four shortlisted photographers that will appear in the 2023 exhibition. Taking place at The Photographer’s Gallery in London from March 3 - June 11, the prize celebrates photographers who redefine genres, push the boundaries and explore themes of race, identity, gender and traditions. 

This year’s shortlist includes Belgian photographer Bieke Depoorter for her exhibition A Chance Encounter at CO Berlin. Blurring the lines between photographer and subject, Depoorter’s nominated project explores two chance encounters through the series Michael, and Agata. While Michael examines the disappearance of a man she met on a street in Portland, Agata explores a first meeting in a Parisian strip-club evolving with the constantly changing narrative. 

Malcolm X (Image credit: Samuel Fosso)

Cameroonian/Nigerian photographer Samuel Fosso was also selected for his self-named series which was exhibited at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris from November 2021 to March 2022. Through a series of self-portraits that Fosso first started taking in the 1970s, he takes on the role of key historical figures and social archetypes as a way of exploring African identity and how African people exist in the world. 

Artist and filmmaker Arthur Jafa was recognized for his largest exhibition to date, Live Evil at Luma Arles, France. Using clever juxtaposition and lyrical editing Jafa creates thought-provoking pieces containing resonant cultural artifacts. He examines the black experience through an eschewing linear narrative which allows the viewer to consider `'the power, beauty and alienation of Black music" in Jafa's own words.

A photo from the series, Michael (Image credit: Bieke Depoorter)

The final photographer to be shorted is Frida Orupabo for her series of sculptural collages and digital works. I have seen a million pictures of my face and still I have no idea exhibited at Fotomusei, Winterthur and explores questions of race, sexuality and identity through striking black and white, abstract imagery. 

Orupabo's work is complex, multi-dimensional and delivers a poetic maneuver that criticizes single-view depictions of Black lives. Orupabo hopes to spark interest in how photography has contributed to the formation and reputation of colonial relations and violence and how the story of Black people is almost entirely absent. 

Batwoman (Image credit: Frida Orupabo)

The winner of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation exhibition will be, announced at an awards ceremony held at The Photographers' Gallery in London on 11 May 2023. A grand prize of £30,000 (around $36,000) is up for grabs for the overall winner and each finalist will also receive £5,000 ($6,000). 

The exhibition will run from the 3rd of March until Sunday 11 June at London's Photographers Gallery, before heading to the Muzeum Fotigrafii w Krakowie in Krakow, Poland from June 30 -  September 17, 2023.

Photographer reframing the black experience wins Deutsche Börse Prize

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.