Skip to main content

Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2022

In 2022, we will once again present the winners and all finalists of this year's Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA) at the Ernst Leitz Museum. As is traditional, the winners will be announced at a festive awards ceremony at the World of Leica in Wetzlar beforehand and will then be on show in Leica galleries and at selected photography festivals worldwide. In addition to the main prize, there is also a newcomer competition this year.

The exhibition presents itself as an exciting tour. The individual series always have an entire exhibition wall dedicated to them and are assigned their own wall colour. In different picture sizes and varied hanging, the series can thus unfold their visual potential, while at the same time creating associative correspondences with the other positions.

The Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA) will be presented for the 42nd time this year. This year, international photography experts again submitted their proposals as nominators. After sifting through all the submissions, an international jury of five selected this year's shortlist. Further details can also be found on the LOBA website.

Oskar Barnack (1879-1936), the inventor of the 35mm camera, photographed intensively from 1914 onwards with the prototype he developed, today known as the Ur-Leica. On the occasion of the 100th birthday of Oskar Barnack, the award named after him was announced for the first time in 1979. The only requirement for nomination is that the photographs must be documentary or conceptual artistic works that deal with the relationship of man to his environment.

The exhibition at the Ernst Leitz Museum is being realised with the kind support of WhiteWall.

LOBA 2022: Winners

After the withdrawal of Western troops from Afghanistan in the summer of 2021, it became clear within days, that the Taliban would work to destroy everything that had been achieved concerning freedom of expression, women’s rights and education, replacing them with renewed fear and insecurity. Born in Iran in 1988, the photographer grew up in Canada, and has been living in Afghanistan for more than eight years: time and again her work focuses in particular on the difficult living situations for women.

More about Kiana Hayeri

From the series „Promises Written on the Ice, Left in the Sun" © Kiana Hayeri/LOBA 2022

Young adults in times of Corona: in his series, the German photographer explores the effects of the pandemic on his generation. He, too, had to experience the sudden break away from habits, and come to terms with the feelings of insecurity that determined every plan, as well as the future. Corona became a catalyst for progressive disorientation. Goppel’s pictures speak of the strange forlornness affecting an entire generation.

More about Valentin Goppel

From the series „Between the Years“ © Valentin Goppel/LOBA 2022

LOBA 2022: Finalists

Four perspectives on the consequences of climate change: the American photojournalist (born 1973) presents women firefighters in Northern California; indigenous women in the Brazilian Amazon fighting slash-and-burn practices and land appropriation; women from flooded areas in Southern Sudan; and women in the drought-plagued regions of Ethiopia. Visually striking images illustrate how the advance of climate change is threatening and destroying every aspect of life, be it in Africa, North or South America.

More about Lynsey Addario

From the series „Women on the Frontline of Climate Change“ © Lynsey Addario/LOBA 2022

As the largest island nation on the planet, Indonesia is acutely affected by ongoing climate change. It threatens the livelihoods of millions of people; their displacement has long become a reality. The capital of Jakarta is already known as the fastest sinking metropolis in the world. This is a wake-up call in the form of photography: in this series, the Indonesian photographer (born in 1989) documents a humanitarian crisis and the effects of flooding along the coastal regions.

More about Irene Barlian

From the series „Land of the Sea“ © Irene Barlian/LOBA 202

Even today, Peruvian mining is still defined by neo-colonial structures. This black and white series, taken over the past five years or so by the Italian photojournalist (born 1988), documents the serious ramifications of unrestrained mining for the local populace. Peru has always been rich in mineral wealth; consequently, mining is an important economic asset for the country. Even so, the indigenous communities have remained impoverished and suffer greatly from the destruction of their vital resources.

More about Alessandro Cinque

From the series „Peru, a Toxic State“ © Alessandro Cinque/LOBA 2022

In July 2021, entire areas of Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia were devastated due to unusually heavy rainfall and the resulting floods. For months, the German photography collective DOCKS documented the destruction and suffering, as well as the tough reconstruction efforts. The group founded in 2018, includes Aliona Kardash (born 1990), Maximilian Mann (born 1992), Ingmar Björn Nolting (born 1995), Arne Piepke (born 1991) and Fabian Ritter (born 1992).

More about the DOCKS Collective

Aus der Serie „The Flood in Western Germany“ © DOCKS Collective/LOBA 2022

Active local climate protection with global repercussions: in this series, the German photographer (born 1994) introduces the inhabitants of Lokolama, a village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They are determined to defend their vast, and hitherto untouched peatlands against the threat of deforestation and resource extraction. Enormously important to the global climate, the areas represents one of the largest tropical peatlands on the planet – an ecological marvel that stores many billions of tonnes of carbon.

More about Nanna Heitmann

From the series „Protectors of Congo’s Peatland“ © Nanna Heitmann/LOBA 2022

Oases are an important ecological buffer against desertification, and represent places of biological diversity. In addition to abundant water and the right soil quality, date palms are a crucial element. Now more than ever, the balance of these factors is threatened by climate change and human intervention. The Moroccan photographer (born in 1981) provides insight, not only into this sensitive ecosystem, but also into the intangible heritage of the nomadic cultures of his home country.

More about M’hammed Kilito

From the series „Before It’s Gone“ © M’hammed Kilito/LOBA 2022

Inspired by the country’s traditions, craftsmanship and mythologies, this series is dedicated to the landscapes of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Born in 1988, the Belgian photographer and visual artist’s approach is highly subjective. Transgressing the material limits of photography, themes of emergence, apocalypse and eternal recurrence become an allegorical narrative about the history of humanity and the planet, with the Congo at its centre.

More about Léonard Pongo

From the series „Primordial Earth“ © Léonard Pongo/LOBA 2022

This series focuses on the Dorjean-Desmornes family, whom the Mexican photographer (born 1994) accompanied for two and a half months during their migration to the USA. The family came originally from Haiti, and they are among the thousands of people who tried to reach the US via Mexico, in September 2021 alone. Their fate is representative of those who hope for a better life by migrating to the US, despite a journey representing years of hardship and great risk to their lives.

More about Victoria Razo

From the series „Haitian Migration Crisis“ © Victoria Razo/LOBA 2022

In this photographic essay, the Colombian photographer, born in 1992 and now residing in Spain, places the border region between the US and northern Mexico at the centre of his observations. The Rio Bravo is defined by its double status as both a river and the borderline. The project, which is still in progress, was begun on the river’s Mexican banks. Everything there seems to be in limbo; be it people, objects or even the architecture. Everything is defined by the border situation.

More about Felipe Romero Beltrán

From the series „Bravo“ © Felipe Romero Beltrán/LOBA 2022

The largest city in the Americas stands on former forest lands, a large region along the Brazilian coast, once inhabited by the indigenous Guarani people. One of the few pockets remaining today in the São Paulo area consists of six villages with around 700 Guarani Mbyá, and is the smallest demarcated indigenous land in Brazil. The Brazilian photographer (born 1989) dedicated himself to this indigenous community and questions the standard urban development model, in times of climate change.

More about Rafael Vilela

From the series „Forest Ruins: Indigenous Way of Life and Environmental Crisis in the Americas’ Largest City“ © Rafael Vilela/LOBA 2022

Current Exhibitions