In this issue

Max Pinckers: Independent photographs that bear witness to the true reality of life in the insular country that is North Korea are few and far between. With his Red Ink series, the winner of the 2018 Leica Oskar Barnack Award opens up another chapter – revealing instead a staged version of reality under the Kim regime.

Kechun Zhang: To complete this series Between Mountains and Water, photographed while Zhang was traveling around China, the photographer adopted the role of silent observer, mingling with groups of tourists and taking pictures of them at striking locations along the way. The use of clever perspectives made the protagonists appear absurdly insignificant.

Stéphane Lavoué: Where roads head down to meet the sea and often go no further; yet Stéphane Lavoué manages to find a way out of each dead end. He uses his camera to build bridges to imaginary realms far beyond, creating connections between places where the power of nature is omnipresent and time seems to stand still.

Ernesto Benavides: The Peruvian photographer’s work testifies against the exploitation of the rainforest through illegal gold mining. Increasing numbers of unique flora and fauna are disappearing. Yet, it is not only the jungle that is threatened; the ongoing destruction has unimaginable consequences for the climate of the planet.

Samuel Gratacap: For more than ten years Samuel Gratacap has been dealing with refugees in the Mediterranean region. The photographer shows them organising themselves in camps, dreaming of the future, or resigning themselves to their fate. The issue is bleak, and the glaring sun highlights their stories all the more.

Christian Werner: The German photojournalist Christian Werner documents the civil war in Syria. Using almost poetic images, his aim is to explore new ways of reporting on conflicts. Above all, the series Road to Ruin tells the story of people making an effort to lead worthwhile lives in the hostile environment of Assad’s Syria.

Turi Calafato: “Let’s go to the seaside” is the meaning of the title in English; and this is precisely what Turi Calafato did. Heading to the beaches where his fellow Italians spend their summer holidays, weekends and free time, he documented the lively and carefree hustle and bustle all along the Sicilian coastline.

Stephen Dock: “Am I ready to live in peace?” This is the question Stephen Dock asks of himself, just as much as of his protagonists. He works with a documentary approach, yet he also aims to reach into the soul of Northern Ireland, which has yet to find peace – more than twenty years after the Northern Ireland peace process began.

Daniel Chatard: The open-pit mine at Hambach Forest is expanding continuously, endangering the surroundings for both people and nature. For this reason, environmental activists have occupied the area, planning their resistance from treetop homes. Despite his gentle imagery, Daniel Chatard captures the tenseness of the situation.

Vanja Bucan: With Vanja Bucan, nature may be represented as a piece of paper and the protagonists reduced to body parts. In this manner, the former environmental activist wants to give expression to the ambivalence of our relationship with nature: the tension between romantic imagination and possession, between love and dominance.

Elsa Stubbé: Elsa Stubbé challenges us to reconsider our perceptions of nature. The enchanting pictures were taken while the photographer was out hiking, or travelling across continents. Disconnected from their original context, they take the viewer on a poetic journey into a most unique cosmos of the imagination.

Mary Gelman: Svetlana, a community created by the Camphill Movement, lies around 150 kilometres east of St. Petersburg. It is a place where people with disabilities can live and work, independently and far from prejudice and discrimination. Mary Gelman visited Svetlana many times over two years, capturing everyday life there in gentle and poetic images.

Interview with Mark Lubell
Winners & Finalists 2018
Winners 1980 – 2018
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LFI Special Edition - Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2018