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Esko Männikkö wins ‘Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2008’

The finnish photographer Esko Männikkö has been awarded the “Deutsche Börse

(PresseBox) (Frankfurt am Main, ) Photography Prize 2008". The £30,000 prize rewards an international photographer for their significant contribution to the medium of photography during the past year. The prize showcases new talent and highlights the best of international photography practice and is one of the most prestigious in the world of photography.

Esko Männikkö was awarded the Prize for the recent exhibition for his retrospective Cocktails 1990 - 2007 at Millesgarden, Stockholm, Sweden (1 September - 4 November 2007). A portraitist of isolation, Männikkö documents with great humour, warmth and integrity the lives of those who inhabit the periphery. Cocktails featured a selection of portraits, still life and landscape photographs from series such as Finnish Series, Organized Freedom and Harmony Sisters. Shown in assorted wooden frames, found and weathered by time, his images acquire a timeless, almost painterly quality.

Esko Männikkö was chosen by the Jury members, Els Barents, Director, Huis Marseille (The Netherlands), Jem Southam, photographer (UK), Thomas Weski, Chief Curator, Haus der Kunst (Germany) and Anne-Marie Beckmann, Curator, Art Collection Deutsche Börse (Germany).

The other shortlisted photographers in this year s Prize, each awarded £3,000, are: John Davies (1949, UK), Jacob Holdt (b.1947, Denmark), Fazal Sheikh (b.1965, USA).

Brett Rogers, Chair of the Jury and Director of The Photographers Gallery, said: The four nominees on this year s shortlist eschew the fashionable in favour of social and political engagement. Esko Männikkö s pictorial risk-taking, combined with his poetic approach to dealing with universal issues such as alienation and identity, greatly impressed the 2008 Jury. In his books and on the gallery walls, Männikkö has successfully created an authentic and compelling new photographic vision that fuses social documentary and fine art.

Alexandra Hachmeister, in charge of Corporate Responsibility for Deutsche Börse,commented: As title sponsor, we are very proud to see how the "Deutsche Börse Photography Prize" has evolved into one of the most prestigious and important award for contemporary photography. The prize reflects the variety of photography in an individual and excellent way and stands for high quality.

The Photography Prize plays a key role in our commitment to the medium. We congratulate Esko Männikkö for being awarded with the "Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2008".

Deutsche Börse has sponsored this prestigious prize since 2005. The prize was originally set up in 1996 by The Photographers' Gallery in London to promote the best of contemporary photography. The focus is on the promotion of young talents and the acknoledgement of outstanding works of international Photographic Art. Previous winners of the "Deutsche Börse Photography Prize" are Walid Raad/ the Atlas Group (2007), Robert Adams (2006) and Luc Delahaye (2005).