The new Leica M camera
"Leica Camera AG is currently in discussions with Sir Jonathan Ive, senior vice president of Industrial Design at Apple Inc, about designing a single example of the new Leica M," a spokeswoman at Leica Camera UK has confirmed to BJP.
The unique piece will then be sold at a charity auction in the summer of 2013, to benefit the organisation Reporters Without Borders. According to PetaPixel, which broke the news yesterday, Ive was supposed to appear at Leica's press conference at Photokina in Cologne, Germany, but had to cancel at the last minute.
"The auction will be organised by Bono, vocalist of the rock band U2," says Leica. "The proceeds from the auction will go to those whose work Leica particularly wants to support: reporters in parts of the world afflicted by war and crisis."
The auction comes as Leica has been, for the past two years, financing the work of photojournalists at Magnum Photos and Facing Change. Speaking to BJP in July 2011, Leica's chairman, Dr Andreas Kaufmann, said: "It's my personal belief that good photography should be more popular with newspaper and magazine editors, and with the public in general. A good picture captures the eye. But photojournalists are getting fewer and fewer commissions now. For Leica, these reportages – as the French call these stories – make a lot of sense. This is where we started. Also, with our retail programme, we already commission a lot of pictures to use at our points of sale. This made sense."
The auction will also raise awareness about the dangers photographers and journalists face when reporting from the front lines. This year alone, at least 34 journalists were killed – 16 of them in Syria alone.
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