Davide Monteleone wins Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award

Davide Monteleone was selected as the Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award winner in 2012, but his name had been kept secret until today for security reasons, as the photographer produced an extensive body of work in Chechnya.

The photographer won a €50,000 grant, which will also finance the production of a book and exhibition of the work to be unveiled in October in Paris.

“Today Chechnya is an autonomous republic in the Russian Federation,” say the awards’ organisers. “Davide Monteleone went there very briefly for the first time in 2003 on a press visit, and then again in 2007. He saw how much the country had changed during these years: thanks to the billions invested by Moscow in rebuilding, skyscrapers, parks and new centres of power sprang up and exiles gradually returned home, though not all. Subdued and pacified by force, Chechnya was depicted as a winner in official Russian rhetoric, held up as a model of virtue and an example for the neighbouring republics in the Caucasus.

“At the same time, democracy was abolished, the opposition crushed, all dissent silenced and there was a sort of freeze on social progress, or even an outright return to the Middle Ages. For his latest project, between January and April 2013, the photojournalist wanted to go back to investigate Chechen identity today. Above all, he wanted to know whether Chechnya or Russia had emerged victorious from the conflict. The answer is undeniably Russia. But if you look at it from a different standpoint, the answer is perhaps not so clear-cut.”

In a statement, Nathalie Gallon, director of the Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award, says: “Monteleone’s rigorously conceived photos have captured the experience of that country, using diffuse black and white images to offer a ray of light and make space appear open, as if in a last bid for resistance.”

For more about the Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award, visit www.fondation-carmignac.com.

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Image © Davide Monteleone for the Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award

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Image © Davide Monteleone for the Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award

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Image © Davide Monteleone for the Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award

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