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Kraszna-Kraus Book Awards 2021 - shortlists announced

The Kraszna-Krausz Foundation has announced the long and shortlists for its 2021 Photography and Moving Image Book Awards, chosen from over 180 submissions. The books in the running address global issues related to gender, identity, history, social injustices, community and memory.

Ranging from untold stories of contemporary society, to innovative thinking about the future of film from an African perspective, the diverse lists reflect the Foundation’s enduring recognition of attentive and original books that will likely have a lasting impact on their field.

This year’s winners will receive prize money of £5,000 each. For both categories, the shortlist selected by the judging panel aims to showcase innovative and coherent bodies of work with a focus on cultural relevance for our current times and in years to come. The judges also placed emphasis on each publication’s design, texture and haptic qualities, elements indicative of the collaborative approach taken by writers, artists, editors and designers.

The judging panel for the Photography Book Award commented: “This year’s longlist demonstrates that photography books with substance are more powerful than simply beautiful photography. The submissions revealed a strong sense of innovative storytelling about contemporary society, made clear through the way images have been combined as well as the texts included and the design of the books. The longlist is an incredible mix of archive, artists, historians, photographers and theorists.”

Professor Gideon Koppel, Judge, Moving Image Book Award comments: “Now seems to be a particularly relevant time to be thinking about moving pictures and sounds, and how this field interacts with other ideas about humanity. We are in the middle of a technological revolution, where there is an acceleration of new ways to make and experience moving images and sound. So it didn't surprise me to see a noticeable collection of books musing on the future by looking to the past.

Sir Brian Pomeroy CBE, Chair of the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation said: “It’s been fantastic to see such a strong year for submissions, and the eclectic range of genres that both longlists encompass. The Awards are an important reflection of contemporary society, and the politics and cultural experiences from the previous year. Photography and Moving Image books continue to give a voice to people and communities across the world.”

SHORTLIST - Photography Book Award

  • Centralia by Poulomi Basu (Dewi Lewis Publishing). Basu’s Centralia brings to light the important lives of indigenous women in India and their families, whose voices, stories and fight are rarely heard. Through a highly intelligent combination of texts and powerful images, the book explores the ways that our perceptions of reality and truth are often manipulated.
  • Destiny edited by Myles Russell-Cook with contributors (National Gallery of Victoria) In Destiny, Russell-Cook presents a timely monograph showcasing over 40 years of work by photographer and artist Destiny Deacon. Deacon is known for having coined the term ‘blak’, and her work across photography, video, printmaking, mixed media and installation is an interrogation of the way in which Aboriginal people have been, and continue to be,
    misrepresented within popular culture.
  • Dream is Wonderful, Yet Unclear by Maria Kapajeva (Milda Books) Kapajeva’s book is an extraordinary journey through contemporary social history and personal memory. Dream is Wonderful, Yet Unclear explores the community, of which Kapajeva’s family was part, surrounding a now closed textile mill in Narva, Estonia, that
    suffered deeply after Estonia asserted its independence from Russia. With a focus on women and socio-political matters in post-Soviet culture, the work is beautifully clever and conceptually rigorous.
  • Sunil Gupta: From Here To Eternity by Sunil Gupta, edited by Dr Mark Sealy MBE (Autograph in association with The Photographers’ Gallery and Ryerson Image Centre) Sunil Gupta’s life and long career in photography and activism are charted through a rich volume of personal and political archival material. Gupta’s socially engaged projects and works have been instrumental in raising awareness and visibility around the political realities concerning the fight for international gay rights, and the book traces the intersectional histories of migration and gay liberation.

Judging panels
The judges of this year’s Photography Book Award were Patrizia Di Bello, Professor of History and Theory of Photography at Birkbeck, University of London; Anna Fox, acclaimed British photographer and Professor of Photography at the University for the Creative Arts; and Jennie Ricketts, independent photography editor, curator, consultant and mentor.

The judges of this year’s Moving Image Book Award were Erika Balsom, Reader in Film Studies at King’s College London; Steven Bode, Director of Film and Video Umbrella, the UK’s leading makers of artists' moving image; and Gideon Koppel, Professor of Film at Manchester School of Art.

Upcoming events
● 20 May, The Photobook Sessions, a free day-long programme of talks about photobook publishing. Presented in partnership with Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London.
● 1 June, digital winners event 1, in partnership with The Photographers’ Gallery.
● 3 June, digital winners event 2, in partnership with The Photographers’ Gallery.

The Kraszna-Krausz Foundation
The Kraszna-Krausz Foundation was created in 1985 by Andor Kraszna-Krausz, the founder of Focal Press. Since 1985 the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation Book Awards have been the UK’s leading prizes for books on photography and the moving image. More information information on the work of the Foundation can be found online at

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