PRANGINS .- The Swiss National Museum Château de Prangins
presents the best Swiss press photographs of 2015. The first prize went to Niels Ackermann for his photographic reportage on the inhabitants of a new town built close to the contaminated zone of Chernobyl. The Geneva-based photographer paints the portrait of a young population full of hopes and dreams, determined to leave behind the problems inherited from the preceding generation.
Entries in the 2016 competition 2016 came from 238 photographers. After appraising 3,620 photos, the jury awarded the Swiss Press Photographer of the Year 2015 accolade to Niels Ackermann. Born in Geneva in 1987, he spent the last year in Kiev getting to know the young adults who live close to Chernobyl, some of whom confront fate with their dreams and vitality.
Rather than portray the contaminated region surrounding the abandoned power station, I turned my camera around 180 degrees to focus on the young people of Slavutych as they look to the future, he explains.
Divided into six categories, the exhibition presents momentous events and everyday occurrences from last year. They include Pascal Moras snapshot of a man holding up a bedsheet in front of the rear entrance to a hotel in Zurich. This image underlines the power of a press photograph to zoom in on a real-life event in this case the FIFA scandal and the attempts to hide it from the public gaze (News). Adopting a black and white aesthetic in which minimalism shades into abstraction, Kaspar Thalmanns detailed study of avalanche barriers reveals the immense resources deployed to save a small village (Daily Life). In a different register, Daniel Rihss reportage on Eritrean refugees celebrating the Feast of the Holy Trinity transports the viewer into a different universe (Swiss Stories), while the face of an elderly woman captured by Mara Truog (Portrait) conveys the richness of a life well lived. Meanwhile the rider on the Cresta Run at St. Moritz would surely have preferred not to encounter Arnd Wiegmann, camera at the ready, during this spectacular fall (Sports)!
The 2016 jury
Daphné Anglès, picture editor at the New York Times , Paris; Luc Debraine, journalist on LHebdo , Lausanne; Lars Boering, managing director of World Press Photo, Amsterdam; Rachel Fichmann, picture editor at Matin Dimanche , Lausanne; Antonio Mariotti, film and photography critic of the Corriere del Ticino , Lugano; Koni Nordmann, photography director at the Tages - Anzeiger in Zurich; Bernhard Giger, journalist and chair of the jury, director of the Kornhausforum in Bern.