Three winners and one special mention have been announced for the 2018 Prix du Livre at Rencontres d’Arles – and in all four cases, the books use archival or found photography. The Author Book Award went to Laurence Aëgerter’s Photographic Treatment, which is published by Dewi Lewis; the Historical book award went to The Pigeon Photographer, a collection of images by Julius Neubronner published by Rorhof; and – controversially – the Photo-text Book Award went to Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin’s War Primer 2, which was first published by MACK in 2011 but reissued in paperback this year. A special mention went to Giorgio Di Noto’s The Iceberg in the Author Book Award, which is published by Édition Patrick Frey.
Photobooks have been booming for the last ten years or so but one prize has been there for the last 49 years – Les Prix du Livre at Arles, which was set up at the same time as the Rencontres d’Arles festival. With its long history and prestigious jury, which is this year overseen by FOAM director Marloes Krijnen, the Prix du Livre are some of the best-respected in photography.
Three Prix are up for grabs in three categories this year – the Historical Book Award, the Author Book Award, and the Photo-text Book Award, each of which come with a €6000 prize to be shared between the photographers and their publishers. The books are on show at Arles until 23 September, and the winners will be announced in the opening week.
Hidden Islam, Nicoló Degiorgis’ exploration of the hidden makeshift mosques across northeast Italy, and the silent, ecstatic worship that takes place within their walls, won the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Award today. “It’s a big opportunity for me as a photographer,” Degiorgis told BJP. “But it is also opportunity to give exposure to an important topic which needs to be discussed more, and with more sensibility. ” In the Constitution of the Italian Republic, the right to worship without discrimination is a fundamental principle. The constitution was signed in 1947 after the collapse of fascism. Catholicism, Buddhism, Judaism and Mormonism are formally recognised religions in Italy. Islam, the nation’s second largest religion, is not. According to a 2014 report by Pew, there are more than 1.5 million Muslims living in Italy, a figure expected to double by 2030. Yet, officially, there are only three mosques. Italy’s Muslim population is, by dint of the Republic, a diaspora, and Nicoló Degiorgis has visualised the disguised, temporary nature of this subjugated faith. Italy is the home of The Vatican, the Sistine Chapel …