Laia Abril, Ursula Schulz-Dornburg and Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa take the top prizes for the prestigious Paris Photo/Aperture Foundation Photobook of the Year Award, with a special mention for Pixy Liao
Out of nearly 1000 submissions, the winners for this years Paris Photo/Aperture Foundation Photobook Awards, established in 2012 to celebrate the photobook’s contribution to the narrative of photography, have been announced at Paris Photo.
The Photobook of the Year award went to Laia Abril, for part one of her long-term project, A History of Misogyny, Chapter One: On Abortion (Dewi Lewis). The project is not about the experience of abortion itself, but about the repercussions for women who do not have access to legal, safe or free abortions, forcing them to consider dangerous alternatives that cause physical and mental harm.
Each year, 47,000 women die due to botched abortions, and millions across countries and religions are banned from abortion by law. Abril’s project documents these dangers, weaving a net of ethical and moral questions around the subject of abortion.
The Land In Between by Ursula Schulz-Dornburg (MACK, London) is this year’s selection for Photography Catalogue of the Year. By looking at areas of past historical or political importance, Schulz-Dornburg presents the complex bond between landscape and human civilisation.
She explores the construction of power through the built environment and its impermanence, highlighting how conflict, destruction, time, and decay can transform a landscape.
The First Photobook prize, awarded to both the photographer and publisher involved, went to British writer and photographer Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa’s One Wall a Web (Roma Publications, Amsterdam). Wolukau-Wanambwa was also awarded $10,000, which is part of the prize.
One Wall a Web confronts the realities of anti-black and gendered violence through a mixture of portraiture, text, and archival images. It gathers work from two photographic series, Our Present Invention (2012-14) and All My Gone Life (2014-17), as well as two text collages focusing specifically on the United States. It traces a chronological path through the two series, setting out with a particular interest in the entanglement of masculinity and violence.
In addition to the winners, a Juror’s special mention was given to Pixy Liao for Experimental Relationship Vol.1 (Jiazazhi), which was shortlisted for this years First Photobook award. Liao’s project charts a decade of her relationship with her Japanese boyfriend Moro, in a book that playfully examines the sex, gender and power dynamics within an cross-national relationship.
The initial jury, who made a selection from nearly 1,000 titles, comprised of Lucy Gallun, associate curator in the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, Kristen Lubben, executive director of the Magnum Foundation, Yasufumi Nakamori, former curator and head of the department of photography and new media at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), Lesley A. Martin, creative director of Aperture Foundation and publisher of The PhotoBook Review and Christoph Wiesner, artistic director of Paris Photo.
The final jury welcomed Federica Chiocchetti, Hervé Digne, president of Manifesto and the Odeon Circle, Kevin Moore, curator, Azu Nwagbogu, director of the Fondation des artistes africains (AAF), and artist Batia Suter.
https://programme.parisphoto.com/en/programme-2018/photobook-awards.htm A full list of the shortlisted photobooks can be seen here.