Felix Schoeller names photo award 2021 winners

The winners of the fifth Felix Schoeller Photo Awards were announced on Oct. 2, at a virtual awards ceremony.  More than 600 entries from 95 countries were in the competition. The winners’ works and those of all nominees are exhibited at the Museumsquartier in Osnabrück through March 6, 2022.

German Peace Prize for Photography for Emeke Obanor

Ladi is 16, born in North East Nigeria. she was abducted by her uncle a Boko Haram sympathizer. She was married off two times to two terror group fighters who died in different military base attacks. Without her husband to protect her, she was strapped with a bomb to detonate in a church. She survived and spends time collecting pens as she believes the pen is mightier than the sword. She wants to become a writer.

This year, the German Peace Award for Photography goes to the contemporary art and documentary photographer Emeke Obanor. In his work “Heroes”, the Nigerian shows girls kidnapped by the terrorist organization Boko Haram who have managed to return to freedom. Although the girls were radicalized during their captivity, they have not lost faith and courage to fight for their education and thus a better future.

“With this outstanding work, Emeke Obanor shows us not only his hopeful heroines but also their path to a self-determined future in peace,” comments jury chairman Michael Dannemann. “Heroes is a strong and impressive photo series that represents the German Peace Award for Photography in a wonderful and impressive way,” continues Michael Dannemann.

The German Peace Award for Photography is a joint initiative of the Friedensstadt Osnabrück and the Felix Schoeller Group and was awarded for the first time in 2019. The prize is endowed with 10,000 euros.

Best Newcomer: Shirin Abedi with “May I Have This Dance?

May I Have This Dance

The jury awards the title “Best Work by an Emerging Photographer” to Shirin Abedi. The photographer, who was born in Iran in 1996 and migrated to Germany at the age of seven, dedicates her poetic image series “May I Have This Dance?” to the Iranian ballet scene, which stands up for self-determination, freedom, and equality – in a country where, according to Iranian law, immorality and fornication are the consequence of sensual dance.  While the abolition of ballet during the revolution symbolized independence from the West, today dance stands for a generation’s longing for Western freedom.

The award “Best Work by an Emerging Photographer”, endowed with 2,500 euros, is given to young photographic talents who are studying, undergoing vocational training, or assisting in photography. The works submitted in this category do not have a set theme.