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Leica Camera has announced the three winners of its third annual photo award series, the Leica Women’s Foto Project. Rania Matar, Rosem Morton, and September Bottoms will all receive a Leica SL2-S camera, $10,000, and have their work shown at an exhibition at the Fotografiska New York museum.

The awards program was developed by Leica to elevate the perspectives of female photographers in a career that remains heavily male-dominated. Here’s what you should know about the work that the three winners will have on view at Fotografiska New York.

Rania Matar

A portrait of a women from Lebanon in amongst shattered windows.
Demi, Brummana, Lebanon, 2021 — Demi was injured in the August 4, 2020 explosions. I photographed her on the eve of the anniversary. She chose this location with all the broken glass and wrote the following: “We were mesmerized by the fragmented building, each broken piece told a familiar story a mountain away from Beirut. The simulated space induced catharsis one year after in the environment I now feel safest in, grateful to have an alternate set of photographs to commemorate August 4, 2020. All is blue for a time, glass shelters, reflections of pink sweeping skies – somewhere to float somewhere to flower and somewhere to die, I am still belonging.” © Rania Matar

Related: The 30 emerging photographers to watch in 2022

Lebanese photographer Rania Matar traveled back to Lebanon to produce her award-winning project Where Do I Go? The project explores issues of personal and collective identity from female adolescence into adulthood in a country with an ongoing financial crisis that was ill-prepared to deal with COVID-19. The celebrated photographer was also a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow. 

A portrait of a women from Lebanon laying on the floor int he sun.
Yasmina, Forn Shubbak, Beirut, Lebanon, 2021 — Yasmina recently got her tattoo that says قوة (strength in Arabic). It was for her own empowerment. © Rania Matar

Rosem Morton

Monochrome image by Rosem Morton
I am anxious and wary. This is the first time since the assault that I travelled alone to a place where I knew no one. (February 22, 2019, Columbia, MO, USA) © Rosem Morton

Rosem Morton spent a decade working as a nurse before diving into a career in photojournalism. In addition to the Leica Women Foto Project award, she’s won multiple grants from National Geographic for her work covering rape survivors. Her project Wildflower is a deeply intimate look that finds Morton turning the camera on herself to document her own experience after being sexually assaulted. 

Monochrome image by Rosem Morton
I saw these wildflowers blooming and thriving, something at that time I could not imagine for myself. Since then, I started calling this project, Wildflower, because I too wanted to endure.(November 11, 2018, Baltimore, MD, USA) © Rosem Morton

September Bottoms

A women jumping off a diving board.
Kat jumps off the diving board after getting out of her first psychiatric hold, one of many more to come. © September Bottoms

New York Times Photography Fellow, September Bottoms’ project Remember September is a visual memoir focused on the photographer’s Oklahoma-based family that explores the effects of intergenerational trauma born out of sexual trauma and poverty. The work is extremely beautiful, but also grotesquely subjective—occupying a striking visual space. 

A family as the dinner table.
The whole family gathers for the first time in over ten years. © September Bottoms

New VIII mentor program

In addition to the Leica Women Foto Project winners, Leica also announced three female photographers who were selected to take part in a new mentor program that will be run in collaboration with VII Agency. The three mentees are Brooklyn Kascel, Jackie Malloy, and Natalia Neuhaus. These three photographers will receive a year-long mentorship, VII Agency representation, a Leica Gallery exhibition, and a 12-month loan of a Leica Q2 camera.

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