Academic dialogue

It is one of the main objectives of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation to encourage academic exchange on the subject. In collaboration with partners from an international network of museums, universities and other institutions, the Foundation develops ideas and creates platforms to enable the dialogue among interested members of the public and artists, critics, curators and scientists. To this end, the Foundation holds events on current developments in the photography scene and organises symposia, lectures and artist talks.

Current events

Cooperation with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie (DGPh)

California Camera Club at Mirror Lake, no date. California Camera Club lantern slide collection, Los Angeles Public Library

For the first time, Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie (German Photography Society, DGPh) have jointly awarded their newly established prizes for research and publications in the field of photography. Both awards honour contributions that enrich and promote scientific exchange on the medium of photography in a special way.

The recipient of the DGPh research award “Thinking Photography” is Dr. Carolin Görgen (lecturer at the Sorbonne Université Paris, Department of American Studies) for her study “Out here it is different' – The California Camera Club and community imagination through collective photographic practices toward a critical historiography, 1890-1915.” Its subject is the California Camera Club, an organisation of professional and non-professional photographers founded in San Francisco in 1890 which has received little public attention thus far. “Thinking Photography” is endowed with €3,000 and honours publications in the field of photographic theory and history that enrich the subject area with important approaches from the humanities, cultural studies and social sciences.

The jury explained their selection as follows: "With her historiography of the California Camera Club, Carolin Görgen has presented a study that is of great benefit to photography research. In contrast to numerous works on the history of American photography around 1900, Görgen does not focus on the east coast and the prominent representatives of so-called “pictorialism” (Alfred Steglitz et al.), but rather on the west coast and an organization by professional and non-professional photographers whose work is characterized by a commitment to the representation of the US American 'West' and especially the California region. The study’s change of perspective is implicit in a shift in emphasis that makes it clear how much research in the history of photography can benefit from the profiling of hitherto marginalized aspects. This includes the appreciation of collective and networked work instead of the monographic focus on the individual oeuvre; the focus on institutional structures; the examination of the socio-cultural and cultural-political dimension of photographic practice and, last but not least, the communicative use of the photographic medium in a historical epoch of upheavals and social reconciliation. The research work associated with Görgen's study can hardly be overstated, especially since the author opens up numerous new materials and sources for photography research. These historiographical merits are all the more to be emphasized since it is also a very well-written work that convinces with its outstanding stylistic qualities."

Carolin Görgen, born in 1990, is Associate Professor of American Studies at the Sorbonne Université Paris. She studied american studies as well as art history and french in the Netherlands, the USA and France. She completed her doctorate in 2018 at the University of Paris-Diderot and the École du Louvre. She has received scholarships from the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Huntington Library, the Beinecke Library Yale and the Amon Carter Museum, among others. Between 2016 and 2019 she co-organized the Camera Memoria seminar at the University of Paris-Diderot. She is currently a member of the editorial board of Photographica. 



Spread from "One Wall a Web" by Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa, published by ROMA publications (2018)

Stefan Vanthuyne received the “Writing Photography” award for his interview “The paradoxically perfect and utterly imperfect photobook" with photographer and author Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa. Vanthuyne is an author, photography researcher, photographer and visiting lecturer at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, Belgium. He was honoured for his conversation with Wolukau-Wanambwa, conducted on Google Docs, which focuses primarily on the production and exploration of photobooks as an artistic medium. This award for innovative publication recognises shorter formats such as blogs, columns and reviews, online publications and those creatively merging text and photographic material. The prize is endowed with €1,000.

The jury explains their selection as follows: "With the on Google Docs conducted interview “The paradoxically perfect and utterly imperfect photobook” a three-part discussion between Stefan Vanthuyne and Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa is being awarded. Wolukau-Wanambwa’s publication “One Wall a Web”, which won the “Aperture First PhotoBook Award” in 2018, forms the starting point for a comprehensive examination of the production of photo books. The award also honors the Belgian Platform for Photobooks (BPPB) project, which was initiated by Stefan Vanthuyne in 2017 as an online platform and has since featured articles, interviews and events related to research of the photo book as an artistic medium. Honoring this project is due to its international orientation and its collaborative conception as well as to the high aesthetic standard, that shows in the design of the different articles. In an exemplary way, BPPB also combines the wide possibilities of online publications with a program of public events in order to enable the networking of a professional community and continuous exchange over a medium of photographic expression. Due to the high editorial and stylistic standards and the extensive commitment of the author and editor Stefan Vanthuyne, the Belgian Platform for Photobooks project not only made a significant contribution to the perception of the photo book, it also demonstrated how established event forms and new publication contexts can be productively combined in the interest of photography research."

Stefan Vanthuyne is a writer on and guest lecturer in photography. He writes about photography and photobooks for Belgian newspaper De Standaard. His articles have also been published in Extra and Trigger magazine (FOMU), 1000 Words and Aperture’s The Photobook Review, amongst others. From 2017 until 2020 he was affiliated to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, where he conducted research on the contemporary photobook. In 2017 he founded the Belgian Platform for Photobooks and in 2018 he organized the symposium 'The Individual, The Political and The Photobook’. 


In addition, two publications received honourable mentions from the jury. For “Thinking Photography” freelance curator, author and art scholar Dr Ulrike Matzer was recognised for her dissertation “A Gender Analysis of Photography Historiographies Using the Example of Two Professional Women Photographers in Vienna, 1860-1914.” Another honourable mention, for “Writing Photography” goes to doctoral student Jan-Philipp Nühlen for his essay “745,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Taryn Simon – Transatlantic Sub-marine Cables Reaching Land VSNL International Avon, New Jersey, 2007.”

With their partnership established last year, the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie (DGPh) are jointly promoting academic exchange on photography. As part of their cooperation, the “DGPh – Research Prize for the History of Photography”, which was established in 1978, has been reconceived and will now be awarded for the first time in the form of two prizes. An award ceremony took place at a public event as part of the RAY Festival on 2 September 2021 in Frankfurt/Main.

This years jury members are: Prof. Dr. Stefanie Diekmann (University Hildesheim, Germany, Leading the section "Geschichte und Archive", Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie), Alexandra König (Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation, Frankfurt am Main, Germany), Dr. Kathrin Schönegg (Curator C/O Berlin, Germany, Awardee of the "DGPh Forschungspreis" 2018) and Prof. Dr. Alexander Streitberger (Director of the Lieven Gevaert Research Centre for Photography, Art and Visual Culture (LGC), Leuven, Belgium).


Past events


Symposium 10th Darmstädter Tage der Fotografie

The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation has supported the one-day symposium of the 10th edition of the Darmstädter Tage der Fotografie on 21 April 2018 that examined and discussed the annual topic of the festival "Perspectives - Strategies of photographic acting" from different angles. International experts in photography, renowned curators and participating artists of the festival presented their perspectives and strategies on working with photography.

Gordon Parks. I Am You. Selected Works 1942–1978

Together with the two renowned experts Professor Dr Annette Brauerhoch (film scholar, Universität Paderborn) and Dr Simon Wendt (American Studies Assistant Professor, Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main) the Deutsche Boerse Photography Foundation took a closer look at Gordon Parks as a filmmaker, photographer and political activist during a panel discussion on 11 December 2017. What was the reciprocal effect of his work as a photojournalist and filmmaker, both on a thematic and aesthetic level? Did he succeed in using his photography to fight the suppression and exploitation of minorities? What influence did the US Civil Rights Movement have on his view of the world? These are some of the questions that were important to the experts to reach a deeper understanding of Gordon Parks, his many talents and complex body of work.

Magnum Photos at 70. Past - Present - Future

On the occasion of the international photo agency Magnum's 70th anniversary the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation put together a programme for 24 and 25 November 2017 in cooperation with Magnum Photos and Leica Camera Frankfurt, that allowed to meet Magnum members in Frankfurt.

A symposium offered insights into Magnum's history and current developments through live panel discussions with photographers Thomas Dworzak (DE), David Hurn (UK) and Newsha Tavakolian (IRN) as well as with film sequences from the project "Magnum Time" by Marco Bischof, a Zurich filmmaker and son of Magnum photographer Werner Bischof. The evening was chaired by Marco Bischof and Anne-Marie Beckmann. The programme also comprised a one-day workshop for the interested audience with portfolio reviews and presentations by the three Magnum photographers Dworzak, Hurn and Tavakolian.

An accompanying exhibition showed photographs by Magnum members from 24 November and 9 December 2017. The exhibition displayed works from the Art Collection Deutsche Börse as well as from the Leica Gallery, spanning from the early 1950s until today. With images from photographers such as Werner Bischof, Thomas Hoepker, Martin Parr, Paul Fusco and Alec Soth, many different photographic approaches were represented.

This video offers a little impression of the event.

WATCHED! Surveillance Art & Photography, C/O Berlin

In collaboration with C/O Berlin, the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation organised a series of events between June 2016 and April 2017. Six discussion panels and lectures examined issues such as surveillance, big data and the dissemination of private moments online from different perspectives. Panelists and lecturers included internationally renowned artists such as Hasan Elahi or Beat Streuli, sociologists such as Harald Welzer, politicians (e.g. Heiko Maas, German Federal Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection), the author James Bridle as well as psychologists, media experts and various legal experts.


Artist talks

Jonas Bendiksen and Thomas Dworzak, 20 April 2021, artist talk. In an event accompanying the presentation “Open for Business – Magnum photographers on commission”, the curators of the exhibition, Anne-Marie Beckmann (Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation) and Mirjam Kooiman (Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam) discussed the special challenges of working on group commissions with the two Magnum photographers Jonas Bendiksen and Thomas Dworzak.


Cristina De Middel and Martin Parr, 16 December 2020, artist talk. On the occasion of the exhibition "Open for Business - Magnum photographers on commission", Anne-Marie Beckmann talked to the two photographers about the practice of commercial commissioned work in general, about its role within the renowned Magnum Photos agency and about the interaction between their personal work and commissions from companies and organizations.


Susan Meiselas, 7 November 2019, Artist Talk at Magnum Photos, Paris. The Director of the Photography Foundation, Anne-Marie Beckmann, was be in conversation with the photographer Susan Meiselas, who was the winner of this year's Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize and whose works are also part of the collection.


Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques and Jaya Pelupessy, Artist talk at the HfG (Hochschule für Gestaltung) Offenbach with the two up-and-coming artists from the Foam Talent program with Anne-Marie Beckmann (Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation) and Marcel Feil (Foam Fotografie Museum Amsterdam) about their work and the participation in support programs for young artists.


Dana Lixenberg, Julian Röder and Tobias Zielony, 25 June 2019, Artist Talk at Foam Amsterdam with Anne-Marie Beckmann about their works and topics such as identity, subcultures, their representation and the influence of social media on these aspects on their work.


John Stezaker, 9 April 2019, in conversation with Anne-Marie Beckmann about his photographic work at The Photographers' Gallery in London.


Lucas Foglia, 5 September 2017, lecture by the American photographer on his new photo book "Human Nature" and on the stories behind the images.


Hosam Katan, 29 November 2016, presentation by the young Syrian photographer of his photographs documenting the civil war in Aleppo.