Susan Meiselas Wins Deutsche Börse

Susan Meiselas

American documentary photographer Susan Meiselas won the prestigious 2019 Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize. The Baltimore native took the prize home at a ceremony in London on May 19. Awarding Meiselas the prize for her retrospective show “Mediations” at the Jeu de Paume gallery in Paris last year.

Susan Meiselas - A man in a bandana holds a pistol while other armed men are behind him. There is a tire on fire in the background.
NICARAGUA. Managua. 1979. Street fighter.

Meiselas’ career began early on. Her first major photographic essay focused on the lives of women doing striptease at New England country fairs. There she photographed during three consecutive summers while teaching photography in New York public schools. Carnival Strippers was originally published in 1976. A selection of her photographs was installed at the Whitney Museum of Art in June 2000. More recently her work focuses on the conflict zones of Central America between 1978 and 1983. In particular her coverage of the Nicaraguan Revolution. Meiselas continues to make outstanding contributions to her art.

“Susan’s consistent approach to the medium and her personal investment in the stories, histories, and communities she documents. She has carved out a new and important form of socially engaged photography,” said Brett Rogers, director of the Photographers’ Gallery in London.

Deutsche Börse Photography Prize

“The camera is an excuse to be someplace you don’t otherwise belong. It gives me both a point of connection and a point of separation.” Susan Meiselas

Dancers on the stage while onlookers from the audience watch their skirts twirl.
USA. Woodstock, Vermont. 1973. ©Susan Meiselas/Magnum Photos

Announcing the winner of the prestigious award for European photography at an event at the Photographers’ Gallery. Where an exhibition featuring work by shortlisted artists has been on display since March 8. Meiselas chose to show her long-term project “Kurdistan/aka Kurdistan,” which focuses on the Kurdish diaspora, at the gallery.

The award includes a prize of £30,000 ($38,600) in prize money. Photographers Laia Abril, Arwed Messmer, and Mark Ruwedel were also on the shortlist for projected winners. On June 14, the exhibition will move to the Deutsche Börse headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. Where it will be on display until August 23.

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