“Celebration of Photography” in Wetzlar: Festive ceremony for the winners of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2022

“Celebration of Photography” in Wetzlar: Festive ceremony for the winners of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2022

For three days, the Leitz-Park in Wetzlar was, once again, a multifaceted setting where the passion for photography was given free rein. During the Celebration of Photography on October 20, 2022, Kiana Hayeri was awarded the LOBA 2022 in the main category and Valentin Goppel as Newcomer.

The Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2022 was at the heart of the Celebration of Photography program. The winner of the main award was photographer Kiana Hayeri, who was born in Iran and grew up in Canada; the LOBA Newcomer Award was granted to the German photographer Valentin Goppel. Their series, along with all the other 2022 shortlisted nominees, are on display at the Ernst Leitz Museum. A large exhibition of works by the French Leica photographer Claudine Doury, was opened at the same time at the Leica Gallery Wetzlar.


The LOBA 2022 winners. In this 42nd edition of the internationally renowned and highly remunerated photography competition, the winner of the main category was Kiana Hayeri (born 1988) for her series “Promises Written on Ice, Left in the Sun”. Hayeri has been living and working in Afghanistan for over eight years. Her work focuses primarily on the oppressive living situations of women there, which have only worsened since the Taliban’s return to power. Valentin Goppel (born 2000) was the Newcomer who convinced the LOBA 2022 jury. In his “Between the Years” series, he takes a very personal approach to addressing the upheavals and experiences of his generation in times of Corona. Both series are on display until February 22, 2023, at the Ernst Leitz Museum, alongside the ten additional series that made up the LOBA 2022 shortlist. The 42nd LOBA edition, with submissions made by international nominators and the final selection by a renowned jury of experts, reiterates the importance of the competition; at the same time, the emotional and powerful images submitted by the actively engaged photographers, reveal the state of the world with earth-shattering clarity.

Claudine Doury at the Leica Gallery Wetzlar. The evening of 20th October saw the celebration of the Leica Oskar Barnack Award ceremony in the foyer of Leica Camera AG, as well as the opening of “Between Magic and Reality”, an exhibition of works by the renowned French photographer Claudine Doury (born 1959). The Leica Gallery Wetzlar is presenting three of her series, where the LOBA 1999 winner shares poetic images and touching stories set in gorgeous locations in Central Asia, Crimea and Siberia.


Celebration of Photography. The festivities began for invited guests early on the evening of 19th October, with a wonderful concert by celebrated trumpet player Till Brönner, whose Leica photography has also caused a sensation. With this performance, Till Brönner begins his patronage of the Ernst Leitz Museum in Wetzlar. In addition to the LOBA award ceremony and exhibition openings, one of the highlights of the Celebration of Photography was the presentation by Dr. Andreas Kaufmann (Majority shareholder and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Leica Camera AG) of the latest Leica novelties. He introduced no less than three products. Of particular note is the new Leica M6, which is inspired by the legendary analogue rangefinder camera. To complement the M6, a new edition of the Summilux-M 35 f/1.4 Classic Line was also presented. The new limited edition Leica SL2-S Reporter, was also cause for celebration. These novelties further confirm that innovation and tradition remain the constants when it comes to Leica product development.

The Leica Picture of the Year 2022 was also unveiled at the event: Magnum photographer Thomas Hoepker captured the iconic motif during his famous US road trip of 1963. Leica honoured the German photographer in 2016, with the Leica Hall of Fame Award for his life’s work. A limited edition of the Leica Picture of the Year 2022 will be available for purchase exclusively at Leica Galleries around the world.

On the morning of 21st October in the foyer of Leica Camera AG, a podium discussion and talks with the LOBA winners rounded off the Celebration of Photography program.

LOBA Catalogue 2022

The LOBA Catalogue 2022 is now available: on 146 pages with 234 images, not only the two winners Kiana Hayeri and Valentin Goppel are presented, but also the other ten candidates of the LOBA Shortlist 2022 with their complete image series and background information. 

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