Deutsche Börse Photography Prize: Second sight

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

From single mothers to decaying British towns, the pictures nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize provide an intimate perspective on modern life

It's worth more than the Turner Prize, and it certainly says more about the state of the world. The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, established in 1996, gives £30,000 to the winner. This year's shortlist highlights the work of Britain's John Davies, the Danish photographer Jacob Holdt, Esko Mannikko from Finland and the American Fazal Sheikh, who were chosen from 90 nominees put forward by experts worldwide. These are the photographers deemed to have made the biggest contribution to the medium in Europe in the last year. "Two of the photographers, Holdt and Mannikko, are self-taught," says the curator, Stefanie Braun, "but what unites all of them this year is a long, sustained engagement with the photographic image."

Holdt's colourful images expose social and racial injustice in Nixon's America. Now 60, the photographer spent five years hitchhiking across the States in the early Seventies taking pictures of people he met with a cheap camera given by his parents.

He has been nominated for Jacob Holdt: United States 1970-1975, published last year by Steidl GwinZegal. Palm Beach, his image of a wealthy woman eating lobster, is in stark contrast to Welfare Mother in New Jersey, of a woman standing in a derelict room with her head in her hands. Another image, Fear and Guns, shows a white Michigan family on a sofa, bearing rifles as a "protection" from the black community.

John Davies has been working on The British Landscape series since about 1979. Images include the panoramic view of Stockport Viaduct, England, 1986, while Agecroft Power Station, Salford, 1983 shows people playing football in front of an industrial wasteland. Victoria Promenade, Widnes, 1986 shows a church set against steam from distant power stations.

Braun explains: "He has been documenting the changing industrial and post-industrial British landscape in great detail, starting in the North and Scotland. He has continued to map the land ever since, because he is fascinated with the clash between the man-made environment and the natural habitat."

Mannikko's intense colour images are taken from last year's retrospective, Cocktails 1990-2007, shown in Stockholm. The former hunter, born in 1959, documents a mixture of subjects, including eccentric Finnish bachelors, as well as still life and landscapes of the Finnish countryside, all displayed in over-the-top frames. Simon, Batesville (1996) is an intimate portrait of a man in a cowboy hat, taken on the border of Mexico and the US. Another, Organized Freedom 98 (1995-2005), shows a weathered, blue shack.

The youngest finalist is Sheikh, who has been nominated for Ladli, published last year by Steidl. It is a series of black-and-white portraits of babies, young girls and women who have been maltreated because of their gender. Braun explains how he includes the individual testimonies of each subject. "In the late Eighties, he went to Kenya, his father's birthplace, and was overwhelmed by the sight of the refugees. He went on to document Afghan refugees living in northern Pakistan. These portraits show those who have been abandoned as toddlers because of their sex, while others show child labourers who must care for themselves. Women are beaten, abducted or raped because they are unable to bear a male heir, or are born into a household without a male heir."

The body of work they have been nominated for will be showcased at The Photographers' Gallery, before the winner is announced on 5 March.



Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, The Photographers' Gallery, London (020-7831 1772), 8 February to 6 April

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Public vote: Art Everywhere poster in a bus shelter featuring John Hoyland
art
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmWith comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Arts and Entertainment
Off set: Bab El Hara
tvTV series are being filmed outside the country, but the influence of the regime is still being felt
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhino Doodle by Jim Carter (Downton Abbey)

TV
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

film
Arts and Entertainment
Comedian 'Weird Al' Yankovic

Is the comedy album making a comeback?

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey in the first-look Fifty Shades of Grey movie still

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc, centre, are up for Best Female TV Comic for their presenting quips on The Great British Bake Off

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard in the TV adaptation of 'Fargo'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules

film
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'

film
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

    Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

    Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on