The LOBA exhibition at the Ernst Leitz Museum Wetzlar

The LOBA exhibition at the Ernst Leitz Museum Wetzlar — Insight into the exhibition presenting the winners and finalists

Even if you were unable to see the 43rd edition Leica Oskar Barnack Award exhibition at the Ernst Leitz Museum, you have a chance to get a sense of the powerful presentation here. Hanging in unusual arrangements and on colourful walls, the twelve series convey aninsightful and exciting impression.

The two winners, Ismail Ferdous and Ziyi Le, have found a satisfying venue for engaged photography at the Ernst Leitz Museum. Alongside their very personal images, and also dealing with current topics, the other ten series on the LOBA 2023 shortlist were also given a place in this exhibition. The presentation offers insights into a diversity of regions around the world, reporting on individual, traditional communities, and addresses, in equal measure, the issue of isolation and loneliness that people feel in modern urban societies. Environmental challenges, flight and displacement, the consequences of civil war and violence are further subjects covered; and certainly, last but not least, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has left its emotional mark on this year’s edition of the LOBA.

In the meantime, some of the LOBA 2023 finalist series are being displayed at other Leica Galleries, or will appear in the coming months. For example, the Final Days of Georgian Nomads series by LOBA finalist Natela Grigalashvili remains at the Leica Gallery in Nuremberg, until April 13, 2024. The two winning series by Ismail Ferdous and Ziyi Le will remain on display at the Leica Gallery Taipei in Taiwan, until May 13, 2024. The Leica Gallery Zingst is also exhibiting Ismail Ferdous' Sea Beach series, from March 16 until May 5, 2024.

And of course, the LOBA exhibition catalogue offers a wonderful opportunity to see the power and diversity of the twelve LOBA series once more, in compact form.

The exhibition at the Ernst Leitz Museum was kindly supported by WhiteWall.

All Photos © Florian Schoetterl