Leica Camera USA announces the launch of its second annual Leica Women Foto Project Award as part of its continued commitment to diversity and inclusivity in photography. The Leica Women Foto Project serves as a catalyst to reframe how we see, how we think and how we express our collective narrative through a platform dedicated to amplifying underrepresented voices in visual storytelling. As part of the Leica Women Foto Project, three photographers will each be awarded $10,000 and a Leica Q2 camera to support the completion of a personal project expressed through the female perspective. Applications for the Leica Women Foto Project Award open today at 9:00AM and close on October 8, 2020.

“A visual story has the potential to spark important conversations, validating or challenging our own narratives within a single frame. The power of photography on the collective interpretations of our world yield an intrinsic need and responsibility to encourage diverse perspectives behind the lens. With the Leica Women Foto Project, we strive to amplify voices underrepresented in photography to expand the way we see and relate to our world and its stories.” says Kiran Karnani, Director of Marketing for Leica Camera North America. “The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the way we interact with people and places, often resulting in a hiatus of photographic works and projects. Through this year’s Leica Women Foto Project Award, we aim to enable the completion of a personal project expressed through the female perspective, providing a catalyst for a conversation on resilience, diversity and the courage to see through a new lens.”

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Last year’s Award honored photographers Debi Cornwall, Yana Paskova and Eva Woolridge as the inaugural winners. Selections from their respective photo projects are currently available for public viewing by appointment at Leica Gallery Boston.  Almost one year after receiving the inaugural LWFP Award, Cornwall is publishing a book based on her award-winning photo project on American state-created realities. Necessary Fictions launches in the U.S. on September 1. Meanwhile, Paskova has continued to develop her personal project on all-female societies and photograph on assignment for high-profile publications, such as The Washington Post, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters and Getty Images. Additionally, Woolridge appeared at Tedx Maplewood in February, where she spoke about discrimination during medical emergencies, and the sensationalism of trauma. She is also hosting a Leica Akademie Workshop on August 29, where she will help photographers broaden their understanding of identity and how it affects their ability to capture other cultures and socio-political movements authentically. Register to attend here.

This year’s Leica Women Foto Project Award recipients will be determined by a panel of notable judges based on quality of photography, sophistication of project and a dedication to the medium of photography. ​The diverse jury members include a range of photography experts, from award-winning photojournalists to renowned contributors to the world of photography, to review all submissions from various viewpoints.

The 2020 panel of judges is composed of:

  • Karin Rehn-Kaufmann, Director, Leica Galleries Worldwide
  • Amanda de Cadenet, Founder, Girlgaze & The Conversation
  • Laura Roumanos, Co-Founder, United Photo Industries
  • Sheila Pree Bright, VII Agency Photojournalist
  • Elizabeth Avedon, Curator, Designer, Writer
  • Elizabeth Krist, Photo Editor, National Geographic
  • Lynn JohnsonPhotojournalist, National Geographic
  • Maggie Steber, Guggenheim Fellow, VII Agency​ Photojournalist
  • Sandra Stevenson, Assistant Photo Editor, New York Times

Candidates for the award must be legal US residents and each submission must be accompanied by:

  • Project title
  • Ten images of which at least four images were created in either 2019 or 2020
  • Brief project statement, including the social, cultural, environmental or political topic it represents
  • Project description
  • Project timeline
  • Artist bio
  • Summary of intent of the use of prize money. Prize money must be used to fund the completion of the project.

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Three applicants will be selected to each receive $10,000 and a Leica Q2 camera to support the completion of their winning series. The Awardees will be offered opportunities to participate in Gallery exhibitions, Leica Akademie workshops, and more.

Call for entries begins August 26 at 9:00AM ET and will close on October 8 at 11:59PM ET. Applications for the Leica Women Foto Project Award can be submitted through the online registration form found on https://bit.ly/LWFP_Award2020. Leica Camera USA will announce the winners of the Leica Women Foto Project Award on January 18 via https://bit.ly/Leica_Women and @leicacamerausa on Facebook and Instagram.

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