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Susan Meiselas, Villagers watch exhumation at a former Iraqi military headquarters outside Sulaymaniyah, Northern Iraq, 1991. Photo: Susan Meiselas.

Susan Meiselas Awarded 2019 Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize

Magnum photographer Susan Meiselas has won this year’s Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize, which honors a living photographer who has significantly contributed to the medium. Administered by the foundation and the Photographers’ Gallery in London, the annual $34,000 award was presented to Meiselas at a ceremony at the gallery on Thursday, May 16.

With a career spanning four decades, Meiselas is best known for her work in conflict zones, particularly for her images of the Nicaraguan Revolution. The photographer prefers to be immersed in a community for long periods of time when working on a project. The jury selected Meiselas for her first European retrospective “Meditations” (2018) at the Jeu de Paume in Paris. The exhibition featured photographs ranging from scenes of the Kurdish diaspora to intimate portraits of carnival strippers and date back to the 1970s.

Susan Meiselas, Muchachos await the counter attack by the National Guard, Matagalpa, Nicaragua, 1978–1979. Photo: Susan Meiselas/Magnum Photos. Click above for more images.

“Susan’s consistent approach to the medium and her personal investment in the stories, histories and communities she documents, exemplifies a critical revision to the possibilities of documentary photography,” Brett Rogers, director of the Photographers’ Gallery and jury chair, said. “It is one that proposes a sustainable and on-going relationship with the people and their contexts and feels especially relevant and resonant today.”

In addition to Rogers, the prize jury comprised artist Sunil Gupta; Diane Dufour, director of Le Bal, Paris; Felix Hoffmann, chief curator at C/O Berlin; and Anne-Marie Beckmann, director of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation, Frankfurt.

Meiselas’s photographs will be featured in an exhibition—alongside the work of shortlisted artists Laia Abril, Arwed Messmer, and Mark Ruwedel—that is on display at the Photographers’ Gallery until June 2. It will then travel to the Deutsche Börse’s headquarters in Eschborn/Frankfurt, where it will be on view from June 14 to August 23.

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