Leica Announces its Women Foto Project Award Winners

Leica Women Foto Award winners

Leica Camera has announced the winners of the third annual Leica Women Foto Project Award in partnership with Fotografiska and VII Photo Agency, with the aim of expanding diverse representation in photography and empowering the female point of view.

Leica continues its commitment to fostering representation and inclusion of all perspectives in the photography industry with the Leica Women Foto Project as part of its initiatives.

Leica Foto Project Award Winners

The diverse panel of judges, ranging from award-wining photojournalists to renowned contributors to the world of photography, selected three award winners: Rania Matar, Rosem Morton, and September Bottoms.

Photo by Rania Matar. Farah, Aabey, Lebanon, 2020. Farah was part of the young generation who been protesting in Lebanon, during the popular uprising that had started in October of 2019, demanding to get rid of the corrupt government. There were factions trying to undermine the protests and they burned Farah’s car.
Photo by Rania Matar. Samira, Beirut, Lebanon, 2021. Samira is a third-generation Palestinian refugee living in a refugee camp on the outskirts of Beirut. Matar has known her and her family since Samira was 5. She is now 21. Matar had been photographing her in the refugee camp for years but in the past 2 years, they started leaving the camp and making pictures by the Mediterranean Sea. On their way back they saw the barbed wire and the flowers with the sea behind and stopped. She said, “I am outside but I am still trapped.”

Each winner receives $10,000, a Leica SL2-S camera with Leica Vario-Elmarit-SL 24-70mm f/2.8 ASPH lens, and a four-week photography exhibition at the Fotografiska museum venue in New York. Starting from March 8, 2022, the exhibition will also feature the work of this year’s Leica Oscar Barnack Award winner, Ana Maria Arévalo.

Photo by Rosem Morton. “You can get through this,” Ian whispers as he holds me. (August 31, 2018, Baltimore, MD, USA)
Photo by Rosem Morton. “These are snippets of my past life, torn down and waiting to be rebuilt.” (December 29, 2018, Baltimore, MD, USA)

As part of Leica’s goal to amplify the female perspective, the company will also host the Leica Women Summit on March 12 and March 13, 2022, in the same venue. The two-day-long event comprises various multi-platform programs which aim to inspire conversation on the photo industry and reframe the narrative.

Photo by Bottoms September. “Kat jumps off the diving board after getting out of her first psychiatric hold, one of many more
to come.”
Photo by September Bottoms. “Papa Jack gets baptized of his sins before passing away.”

“The third annual Leica Women Foto Project Award underscores our ongoing commitment to diversity in visual storytelling,” says Kiran Karnani, VP of Marketing for Leica Camera North America. “Our winners this year demonstrated extraordinary skill, grace, bravery, creating works that are as daring as they are vital.”

Winners of the Mentor Program

This year, Leica also partnered with VII Photo Agency to introduce “The Leica Women Foto Project x VII Mentor Program,” which provides resources to help enrich the professional development of up-and-coming female photographers. The Mentor program was first launched by the VII Photo Agency in 2008 to support early-career photographers and has been since redesigned in 2021 in partnership with VII Academy.

The three mentees who will receive the support are Brooklyn Kascel, Jackie Malloy, and Natalia Neuhaus who all demonstrated their commitment to the profession of photography and a published body of work.

They will receive a year-long photography mentorship, VII Agency representation, a Leica Gallery exhibition, and a year-long loan of a Leica Q2 camera to assist their professional photographic development.

Update: A previous version of this story misidentified Natalia Neuhaus. We apologize for the error.

Image credits: Photos individually credited. Featured article image by Rania Matar.