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Annenberg Space for Photography announces new prize and exhibition
Malin Fezehai, Schoolgirls look out to sea in Galle Port, Sri Lanka, 2007.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Annenberg Space for Photography today announced the Wallis Annenberg Prize to coincide with its next exhibition Emerging, on view June 6 through September 20, 2015. Organized in partnership with Photo District News (PDN), the award-winning publication for professional photographers, this exhibition presents images by more than 90 Emerging photographers from around the world who bring fresh perspectives and creative techniques to professional photography. Emerging explores how a new generation of photographers examines a variety of topics, from the personal to the global: youth culture, family, the environment, economic uncertainty, conflict and civil unrest, and the nature of the photographic image.

“Photography has always been one of my great passions – because it’s a living diary of the human condition, a way to capture the most elusive moments in our fast-changing lives,” said Wallis Annenberg, Chairman, President and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation. “That’s why it’s so essential to support and nurture the newest, freshest photographic artists, people who are changing the medium, and documenting these dizzying and fast-evolving times. ‘Emerging’ is, quite simply, what the word describes: our attempt to bring greater recognition to the next generation of photographic talent, those on the verge of breaking through. I’m delighted that we’ve been able to partner with PDN for this wonderful exhibition, to showcase work that I believe will be shown and showcased for decades. And I’m especially pleased that we’ve been able to create the Wallis Annenberg Prize, to honor and support some of the many extraordinary artists that PDN has already marked for greatness.”

The Annenberg Space for Photography and PDN present the Wallis Annenberg Prize, which grants special recognition along with a financial reward of $10,000, to Malin Fezehai, who appears in PDN’s 30 and whose work will be presented with the Emerging exhibition. Ms. Annenberg personally selected Ms. Fezehai as the winner. Impressed by the work of the other finalists – Anna Beeke, Paul Colangelo, Amanda Mustard and Dina Oganova – Ms. Annenberg chose to reward them each with $5,000 as well. The Wallis Annenberg Prize continues the Annenberg Foundation’s generous support for the arts.

Wallis Annenberg Prize-winner Malin Fezehai is a Swedish / Eritrean photographer and filmmaker currently based in New York. Specializing in portraiture and reportage photography, her photographs have been published in major newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe including TIME, The New York Times, and The New Yorker. Ms. Fezehai’s photographic work has focused on issues of displacement, and covered the slowly sinking islands of Kiribati, underage workers in Ethiopia, and the war torn lives of women in Sri Lanka amongst other subjects.

Emerging is comprised of works from photog­ra­phers who have been featured in “PDN’s 30,” Photo District News’ annual selection of 30 top Emerging photographers who have demonstrated a distinctive vision, creativity, and versatility. First published in 1999, the annual PDN’s 30 issue has become a must-see guide to new photographic talent working in fashion, photojournalism and documentary photography, portraiture, art photography and magazine assignments. The exhibition is guest curated by PDN leadership: Editor in Chief, Holly Stuart Hughes; Senior Editor, Conor Risch; Photo Editor, Amy Wolff; Executive Editor, David Walker and Creative Director, Darren Ching.

“What characterizes the talented young photographers we have profiled in PDN’s 30 is a remarkable openness to experimentation--in photography, video and multimedia, and in particular the novel and innovative ways they share their work,” says PDN editor in chief Holly Stuart Hughes. “The old business models for professional photographers no longer apply in today’s fast paced social and digital world. PDN’s 30 photographers are pioneering the next wave of professional photography: they have been ingenious in finding new ways to explore the medium and get their work in front of audiences.”

The photographers in Emerging come from 30 countries and while all are still relatively new to professional photography, many have already earned prestigious accolades including solo exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography; winning a Guggenheim Fellowship, and assignments for National Geographic, TIME, The New Yorker, Le Monde, Stern, The Times of London, Nike, Levi’s, Target, and Pepsi among other visible placements.

In addition to nearly 100 prints, the exhibition will include videos, multimedia pieces, self-published books, zines and a changing slideshow of images posted on social media illustrating the many ways Emerging photographers have shown and shared their work. The exhibition will also feature an original short documentary commissioned by the Annenberg Space for Photography and produced by Arclight Productions. The film will profile the work of the following ten photographers who have been featured in PDN’s 30: Corey Arnold, Olivia Bee, Peter DiCampo, Pari Dukovic, JUCO, Dina Litovsky, Diana Markosian, Ilvy Njokiktjien, Katie Orlinsky and Marcus Smith.

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