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Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie (DGPh) award prizes for publications in photography

Release date: 04 Feb 2021 | Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation

Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie (DGPh) award prizes for publications in photography

  • Dr Carolin Görgen awarded the “Thinking Photography” research prize
  • “Writing Photography” awarded to Stefan Vanthuyne

For the first time, the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie (DGPh) have jointly awarded their newly established prizes for research and publications in the field of photography. Both awards honour contributions that enrich and promote scientific exchange on the medium of photography in a special way.

The recipient of the DGPh research award “Thinking Photography” is Dr. Carolin Görgen (lecturer at the Sorbonne Université Paris, Department of American Studies) for her study “Out here it is different' – The California Camera Club and community imagination through collective photographic practices toward a critical historiography, 1890-1915.”  Its subject is the California Camera Club, an organisation of professional and non-professional photographers founded in San Francisco in 1890 which has received little public attention thus far. “Thinking Photography” is endowed with €3,000 and honours publications in the field of photographic theory and history that enrich the subject area with important approaches from the humanities, cultural studies and social sciences.

The jury justified its selection as follows: “With her historiography of the California Camera Club, Carolin Görgen has presented a study that represents a great gain for photography research. The study takes on the perspective of less prominent representatives of the West Coast and thus serves as evidence as to how much the scientific discourse can benefit from profiling previously marginalized aspects. The research effort necessary for Görgen’s study can hardly be overstated, especially since the author opens up numerous new materials and sources.”
Stefan Vanthuyne received the “Writing Photography” award for his interview “The paradoxically perfect and utterly imperfect photobook” with photographer and author Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa. Vanthuyne is an author, photography researcher, photographer and visiting lecturer at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, Belgium. He was honoured for his conversation with Wolukau-Wanambwa, conducted on Google Docs, which focuses primarily on the production and exploration of photobooks as an artistic medium.

This award for innovative publication recognises shorter formats such as blogs, columns and reviews, online publications and those creatively merging text and photographic material. The prize is endowed with €1,000.  

In its statement, the jury writes: “In addition to the interview, the award also honours the Belgian Platform for Photobooks (BPPB) website, which was initiated by Vanthuyne in 2017 as an online platform. Both have not only contributed significantly to the perception of the photobook, but also demonstrated how established event formats and new publication contexts can be productively combined in the interest of photography research.”

An international jury selects the awards’ recipients every two years. This year’s jury members were Prof Dr Stefanie Diekmann (DGPh und Universität Hildesheim), Alexandra König (Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation), Dr Kathrin Schönegg (C/O Berlin) and Prof Dr Alexander Streitberger (Université de Louvain).

In addition, two publications received honourable mentions from the jury. For “Thinking Photography,” freelance curator, author and art scholar Dr Ulrike Matzer was recognised for her dissertation “A Gender Analysis of Photography Historiographies Using the Example of Two Professional Women Photographers in Vienna, 1860-1914.” Another honourable mention, for “Writing Photography,” goes to doctoral student Jan-Philipp Nühlen for his essay “745,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Taryn Simon – Transatlantic Sub-marine Cables Reaching Land VSNL International Avon, New Jersey, 2007.”

With their partnership established last year, the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie (DGPh) are jointly promoting academic exchange on photography. As part of their cooperation, the “DGPh – Research Prize for the History of Photography”, which was established in 1978, has been reconceived and will now be awarded for the first time in the form of two prizes. An award ceremony will take place at a public event as part of the RAY Festival in September 2021 in Frankfurt/Main.

The complete jury statement and biographies of the authors as well as a selection of press pictures can be found online. 

The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation

The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation is a Frankfurt-based non-profit organisation. The foundation activities focus on collecting, exhibiting and promoting contemporary photography. Founded in 1999, the Art Collection Deutsche Börse now comprises over 2,000 works by more than 130 international artists from 27 nations and is open to the public. Together with The Photographers’ Gallery in London, the foundation awards the renowned Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize each year. The Foundation is particularly interested in promoting young artists and supports them in various ways, e.g. through awards, scholarships or their participation in the Foam Talent programme. Other focal points include supporting exhibition projects of international museums and institutions, and the expansion of platforms for academic discussion about the medium. Further information is available at

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie (DGPh)

The Cologne-based Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie e.V. (German Photography Society, DGPh) works to promote and examine the cultural interests of photography and related imaging. Its activities are focused on the various fields of application in art, science, education, journalism, across industries and politics as well as their links and interactions. As the central authority for communicating ground-breaking achievements to the public in the field of photography, it awards several prizes and distinctions. More information is available at