Image taken from the "Waiting for the future – pictures from Abkhazia" portfolio © Jens Olof Lasthein, winner of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2010.
Jens Olof Lasthein won the Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2010 for his portfolio Waiting for the future – pictures from Abkhazia. His images tell the story of the people of the Republic of Abkhazia in the Southern Caucasus. The republic is considered to be part of Georgia under international law.
Lasthein receives a €5000 cash prize, or Leica camera equipment of the same value. The photographer was presented his award yesterday evening at the Rencontres d'Arles festival in France.
"The portfolio shows the desolate reality: the beaches of Sukhum, the capital city, formerly crowded with holidaymakers from throughout the Soviet Union, are now almost deserted," say the judges in a statement. "The ruined houses and overgrown gardens of the small coastal town Ochamchira appear to have been abandoned. And Tkuarchal, the once thriving industrial centre, is now a place of devastated factories and high unemployment. Life in Abkhazia has come to a standstill."
Germany-based photographer Andy Spyra has, meanwhile, won the Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award 2010 for his Kashmir portfolio. He wins €2500.
The two photographers were selected from among more than 1700 entrants from 79 countries. The jury included World Press Award 2009 winner Anthony Suau, Volker Lensch, Eva Gravayat, Karin Rehn-Kaufmann and Dr Andreas Kaufmann.
For more details, visit www.leica-oskar-barnack-award.com.
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