Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2008

The winner of the annual Deutsche Börse Photography Prize was announced on 5 March 2008: Esko Männikkö. Other photographers, who were shortlisted for this year’s prize, are: John Davies, Jacob Holdt and Fazal Sheik .

This year’s shortlist demonstrates a focused and sustained commitment to exploring subjects of social and political importance through photography.

The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2008 is presented by the Photographers’ Gallery in London, which was also the opening venue for the exhibition from 8 February to 6 April 2008. Between 16 May and 13 July 2008, the exhibition was shown at the C/O Berlin and between 8 September and 17 October 2008 in the Deutsche Börse Group headquarters in Frankfurt.

The Jury

The final shortlist was made by the Jury, chaired by Brett Rogers, Director of The Photographers’ Gallery. Other Jury members for 2008 are: Els Barents (Director), Huis Marseille (The Netherlands), Jem Southam, photographer (UK), Thomas Weski (Chief Curator), Haus der Kunst (Germany) and Anne-Marie Beckmann, Curator, Art Collection Deutsche Börse (Frankfurt).

The Shortlist

Stockport Viaduct, England

John Davies

(b. 1949, UK) has been nominated for The British Landscape at the National Media Museum, Bradford, UK (13 October 2006 – 4 February 2007). His panoramic black & white photographs, taken between 1979–2005, document the changing post-industrial British landscape. Coolly detached and combining the monumental with the banal, these works are an ongoing and in-depth study of the relationship between our social, economic and industrial history. 

Untitled from the series United States 1970 - 1975

Jacob Holdt

(b. 1947, Denmark) has been nominated for his publication Jacob Holdt, United States 1970–1975, published by Steidl, Germany (2007). In the early 1970s, Holdt spent five years hitchhiking across the US, living with and documenting the lives of the people he met – from the poorest Southern sharecroppers to some of America’s wealthiest families. Part travelogue, part political essay his images expose social and racial injustice in Nixon’s Amercia and present a powerful tale of human intimacy, poverty, alienation and protest.

Untitled (25)

Esko Männikkö

(b. 1959, Finland) has been nominated for his retrospective Cocktails 1990–2007 at Millesgarden, Stockholm, Sweden (1 September – 4 November 2007). A portraitist of isolation, Männikkö documents with great humour, warmth and integrity the lives of those who inhabit the periphery. Cocktails featured a selection of portraits, still life and landscape photographs from series such as Finnish Series, Organized Freedom and Harmony Sisters. Shown in assorted wooden frames, found and weathered by time, his images acquire a timeless, almost painterly quality.

Gulafshah, Ahmedabad, India

Fazal Sheikh

(b. 1965, USA) has been nominated for his publication Ladli, published by Steidl, Germany (2007). Sheikh is an artist-activist who uses photography to create sustained portraits of different communities around the world. His latest project Ladli examines the effects of enduring prejudices against women in contemporary Indian society and highlights – through his powerful black-and-white portraits and the accompanying individual testimonies – the extent to which some women in India are still victims of ancient religious and cultural codes.