The winners of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2021 have been announced

Venezuelan photographer Ana María Arévalo Gosen wins the Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2021 with her series "Días Eternos". The Newcomer Award goes to German photographer Emile Ducke with his series "Kolyma - Along the Road of Bones". This year's two winners of the internationally renowned and traditional Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA) photography competition, which is being awarded for the 41st time this year, have been announced. In the main category "Leica Oskar Barnack Award", the Venezuelan photographer Ana María Arévalo Gosen convinced the five-member jury with her series "Días Eternos", submitted by the nominator Gonçalo Fonseca. In the category "Leica Oskar Barnack Award Newcomer" (for young photographers up to the age of 30), the German photographer Emile Ducke prevailed with his series "Kolyma - Along the Road of Bones". The photo series was submitted by nominator Gaia Tripoli.

Ana María Arévalo Gosen, from the series „Días Eternos“
© Ana María Arévalo Gosen/LOBA 2021

Portrait Ana Maria Arévalo Gosen

Ana María Arévalo Gosen: "Días Eternos"
Leica Oskar Barnack Award Winner 2021

In her series "Días Eternos", the Venezuelan photographer focuses on the harrowing living conditions of imprisoned women. The images were taken since 2017 with a Leica Q in prisons in Venezuela and El Salvador. With great visual force and impact, Arévalo Gosen shows the causes and consequences of imprisonment, not only for the women, but also for their families and the societies of Latin America. "In the portraits of the imprisoned women, I am concerned with the conditions of imprisonment, where human rights seem to be suspended. I don't think I can change the women's lives, but at least through my work I can show that they exist," Ana María Arévalo Gosen explains.

Ana María Arévalo Gosen was born in 1988 in Caracas, Venezuela. She studied photography at the École supérieure de photographie in Toulouse and at the EFTI (Centro Internacional de Fotografia y Cine) in Madrid. Arévalo Gosen uses photography for visual narratives with a high documentary value; a focus of her work are projects on women's rights and environmental issues. For the work "Días Eternos" she received a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. She has already received the LUMIX Award and the Lucas Dolega Award for the series. She is a member of Ayün Fotógrafas, a collective of Latin American women photographers. Arévalo Gosen commutes between Bilbao and Latin America.

Ana María Arévalo Gosen, from the series
„Días Eternos“ © Ana María Arévalo Gosen/LOBA 2021

Ana María Arévalo Gosen, from the series
„Días Eternos“ © Ana María Arévalo Gosen/LOBA 2021

Ana María Arévalo Gosen, from the series
„Días Eternos“ © Ana María Arévalo Gosen/LOBA 2021

Ana María Arévalo Gosen, from the series
„Días Eternos“ © Ana María Arévalo Gosen/LOBA 2021

Portrait Emile Ducke

Emile Ducke: "Kolyma - Along the Road of Bones
Leica Oskar Barnack Award Newcomer 2021

Thousands of inmates of Stalin-era gulags died during the construction of a highway through the icy, remote Kolyma region in Siberia. The German documentary photographer, who currently lives in Moscow, not only searched for remnants of the former forced labour camps on his journey along the so-called "Road of Bones", but also questions how they are remembered today. "What moved me most during my journey along the Kolyma Highway, built by prisoners of the gulags in Russia's Far East, were the encounters with contemporary witnesses and survivors of this tragic past," says Emile Ducke.

Emile Ducke was born in 1994. In 2017, he decided to postpone his university degree in photojournalism and move to Moscow, where he has since been working on personal projects as well as on assignment for various international publications. A regular contributor to the New York Times, he has documented the effects of melting permafrost above the Arctic Circle, explored the legacy of Stalin's forced labour camps in the Russian Far East, and captured scenes of traditional life in Chechnya. His photo essays have been published by the Washington Post, National Geographic and Der Spiegel, among others. He was selected as a World Press Photo 6x6 Visual Storyteller, named one of PDN's 30 Emerging Photographers and awarded the n-east prize for his coverage of Eastern Europe.

Emile Ducke, from the series „Kolyma - Along the Road of Bones
© Emile Ducke/LOBA 2021

Emile Ducke, from the series „Kolyma - Along the Road of Bones
© Emile Ducke/LOBA 2021

Emile Ducke, from the series „Kolyma - Along the Road of Bones
© Emile Ducke/LOBA 2021

Emile Ducke, from the series „Kolyma - Along the Road of Bones
© Emile Ducke/LOBA 2021

Emile Ducke, from the series „Kolyma - Along the Road of Bones
© Emile Ducke/LOBA 2021

"On behalf of the entire jury (Sandra M. Stevenson, Assistant Editor, Photography, The New York Times, USA; 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, UK), I congratulate the winners of this year's Leica Oskar Barnack Awards. I was impressed and touched by the diversity, the high standard of the series and the many submissions from very young photographers. A very big thank you goes to our very professional jury, which always has the human eye at heart, as well as to all our dedicated nominators from all over the world," says Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, Art Director & Chief Representative Leica Galleries International.

The significantly increased prize money in 2020 will be maintained in 2021: Ana María Arévalo Gosen will receive a Leica camera kit worth €10,000 in addition to the €40,000 winner's prize. As winner of the Newcomer Award, Emile Ducke will receive prize money of 10,000 euros and a Leica Q2.

On 4 November, the two winners were honoured with the award ceremony and an exhibition of all thirteen shortlisted series at a large celebration of photography in the Leitz Park in Wetzlar, where the Leica Hall of Fame Award is also presented and the Ernst Leitz Museum presents itself internationally after its reorientation.

Accompanying the exhibition, the LOBA Catalogue 2021 will be published, presenting the two winners as well as the other eleven candidates of the LOBA Shortlist 2021 with their complete image series and background information. The exhibition of the winning and shortlisted series is kindly supported by WhiteWall.

Further information on this year's winners

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