PARIS — Kering has designated Liz Johnson Artur as the winner of its 2021 Women in Motion Award for photography, in recognition of the Russian-Ghanaian’s work featuring the African diaspora around the world.
“What I’m interested in is people — the ones I don’t see represented anywhere,” Johnson Artur said in a statement. The photographer, who grew up in Bulgaria, Germany and Russia, has shown work from her Black Balloon Archive at the Brooklyn Museum in New York and the South London Gallery, among other places.
The award of 25,000 euros is part of Kering’s partnership with photography festival Les Rencontres d’Arles, with the funds going toward acquiring works of the winner for the festival’s collection. Previous winners of the prize were Sabine Weiss and Susan Meiselas.
Kering has been expanding its Women in Motion program in recent years and added the photography award in 2019. Initially aimed at highlighting work by women in the realm of film, Women in Motion was founded in 2015 at the Cannes Film Festival.
Johnson Artur will share her work, as well as her views on the role of women in photography, at the prize ceremony in Arles, France, on July 5.
“The great thing about this award is that it shines a spotlight on works that haven’t always been adequately recognized, and it alerts us to the fact that recognizing women photographers shouldn’t just happen once a year,” she said.