Thursday, 11 December 2008

Congratulations to Uche Iroha for his 2008 Prince Claus Award

In a beautiful and ambient ceremony photographer and DoF member Uche James Iroha was presented with the international award of the Prince Claus Fund a sum of 25,000 euro in recognition of his service of the development of photography as a contemporary artform in Nigeria, the quality of his artistic practice and his mentorship of a new generation of photographers. A laudable achievement for a young man. It is telling that such an important award comes from outside than from within.

The extract from the Award publication states 'he is the leading light of a new generation of Nigerian photographers. By fusing the documentation of everyday reality with the creative language of
imagery, Uchechukwu expands the possibilities of photography, pushing local art in new directions.' It goes on further to say that he is awarded 'for his striking photographic work, for his stimulation of photography as a contemporary Nigerian artform, and for his energetic support for young artists'.

At such a young 'professional' age, (sorry old man) I know this is only the beginning of bigger things to come. But more than anything else it means and it moves the debate about photography in Nigerian from the reactionary and dull - Is it art or is it not art towards one in which we begin to chart a proper art historical discourse around the medium placing it within its rightful position in the context of the fine arts.

Congrats Uche!!!!!!! The battle will be (W)ONE

The series Fire, Flesh and Blood (2004) depicting open air abattoirs won the Elan Prize at the African Photography Encounters in 2005.


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