40 Years of LOBA – The exhibition at the Ernst Leitz Museum Wetzlar
The exhibition represents a wonderful opportunity to look back over forty years of Leica Oskar Barnack Awards: touching and evocative stories, exciting rediscoveries and new encounters, with a great variety of perspectives! This exhibition offers a clear testimony to the visual richness of the LOBA winner and newcomer series over four decades, and present photojournalism in all its diversity and constant changes. The common denominator is LOBA’s humanistic concept: Right from the very beginning the award was directed at photographers with a “keen talent for observation and for vividly expressing humanitarianism, as well as the relationship between humanity and the environment”, as can be read in the earliest submission requirements for the competition.
Consequently, it is above all socio-relevant issues that define the winning series, many of which have lost none of their topicality to this day. Whether everyday life or emergency situations, research, politics, lifestyle and leisure, the photographers capture vital processes and incite societal discussions; for example, around how to deal with medical problems, poverty or social injustice. Reportages about specific people, living communities and forms of society, that have appeared in series and have captured the diverse range of lifestyles, seem to be even more significant. Whether peace marchers, centenarians, nomads in Siberia, the Roma, the Mennonites, or caravan tourists, whether images of masculinity in the Islamic world, or dancers in China, to just mention a few examples: the overall retrospective of the LOBA series offers a glimpse into unknown worlds, creating a multi-layered kaleidoscope – as seen through the eyes of world renown photographers such as Sebastião Salgado, Gianni Berengo Gardin, Wendy Watriss, Jane Evelyn Atwood, David Turnley or Max Pinckers. Many careers received a decisive boost as a result of the LOBA.
The idea for the competition came about on the occasion of the centenary of the birth year of Oskar Barnack (1879–1936), the ingenious inventor and developer of the new type of camera, with which Leica would go on to write photographic history, and which was to revolutionize amateur photography and, in particular, photojournalism. The Leica Oskar Barnack Award, which was launched in 1980 with just a few black and white reportages, evolved over the following decades to become one of the most prestigious, international honours. In this jubilee year and with the aim of further enhancing the LOBA’s reputation, the submissions procedure was once again optimized, with the support of numerous photography experts.
The 40 Years of Leica Oskar Barnack Award exhibition offers a unique opportunity to draw up an overall impression, that focuses not only on photographer personalities and their stories, but also on four decades of photographic history, in which both the form and the self-image of photojournalism have fundamentally changed.
The comprehensive presentation that spreads over both floors of the Ernst Leitz Museum, presents over 350 exhibits. The accompanying, richly illustrated catalogue documents all 52 LOBA series – 40 main winners and twelve newcomers. In this manner, the reader will have the chance to experience and discover an extremely lively archive of the history of photojournalism.
Further information can be found at: www.ernst-leitz-museum.de
In addition to the exhibition 40 Years of Leica Oskar Barnack Award at the Ernst Leitz Museum, the current award-winners of 2020 are presented at the Leica Gallery Wetzlar. The winners of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2020 will be announced on 22nd October 2020.
The exhibitions have been realised with the kind support of WhiteWall and Halbe Rahmen.
Further information can be found at: www.leica-oskar-barnack-award.com.
Press Release - 40 Years of LOBA_The exhibition at the Ernst Leitz Museum Wetzlar
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