Susan Meiselas wins Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize

Susan Meiselas, Photographs of 20-year-old Kamaran Abdullah Saber are held by his family at Saiwan Hill cemetery. He was killed in July 1991 during a student demonstration against Saddam Hussein, Kurdistan, Northern Iraq, 1991. © the artist

Susan Meiselas has won the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize. The American photo journalist took the £30,000 award for Meditations, her 2018 solo exhibition at Jeu de Paume, Paris. A longterm project documenting the uncovering of Kurdish mass graves after the Iraq War, featuring both Meiselas's own photographs and, through slideshows and vitrines, archival and vernacular imagery, moved from Paris to the prize shortlist exhibition, on through 2 June, at The Photographers’ Gallery, London.

Meiselas, a Magnum photographer, rose to prominence for her work in the conflict zones of Central America (1978–1983), and in particular her coverage of the Nicaraguan revolution.

She was picked from a four-strong shortlist over Laia Abril, Arwed Messmer and Mark Ruwedel by a jury featuring artist, writer and activist Sunil Gupta; Diane Dufour, director of Le Bal,Paris; Felix Hoffmann, chief curator at C/O Berlin and Anne-Marie Beckmann, director of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation, Frankfurt.

Oliver Basciano wrote on Meiselas's work for the April issue of ArtReview, framing it within a wider feature concerning the exhibition of conflict photography in galleries, noting 'This is a body of work versed in the problematic ethics of the medium. Yet Meiselas also celebrates the power of images.'

15 May 2019