The Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2023
Preparations for this year’s Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA) are already underway. The LOBA, which is now in its 43rd edition, has long been counted among the most prestigious and highly endowed photo prizes in the world.
As in previous years, these are renowned curators, gallery owners, art directors and picture editors, as well as numerous photographers from around the world. They will use their individual expertise and experience to nominate up to three photographic series, which will each include between 15 and 20 images. The only requirements for a nomination are that the photographs be of a documentary or conceptual-artistic nature, and deal with the relationship of humanity to the environment. This humanistic constant has been a feature of the LOBA competition, since its inception in 1979. That was the year in which Oskar Barnack, the developer of the Ur-Leica and whose name is given to the competition, would have been 100 years old.
The Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award has complemented the main category since 2009, and is granted to a photographer under 30 years of age. Once again, nominees will be selected in collaboration with, and through proposals submitted by international institutions and colleges.
After viewing all the submissions, the five-person, international jury will come together to deliberate in May, at Leica Camera AG’s headquarters in Wetzlar. From a shortlist of up to twelve series, they will choose the LOBA 2023 winners in the main and newcomer categories.
Up until the moment when the LOBA 2023 winners are finally announced, all the shortlisted series will appear successively on the LOBA website. The highpoint of the LOBA 2023 will come in October, during the ceremony celebrating the winners, to be held in Wetzlar.
The main Award is endowed with 40,000 euros in prize money and Leica camera equipment valued at 10,000 euros; the Newcomer Award-winner receives 10,000 euros and a Leica Q3. Additionally, both winning and shortlisted series will become part of a large touring exhibition, which will first open in Wetzlar in October, 2022, on the occasion of the award ceremony, and will then be seen around the world at Leica Galleries and selected photo festivals. As in the past, a catalogue including all the winners and shortlisted candidates will accompany it.