10. Leica Street Photo Grand Prix

10.Leica Street Photo Grand Prix – Marek M. Berezowski

19.11.2020 Warszawa Pikieta solidarnosciowa pod Sadem Okregowym z aktywistka zatrzymana na protescie kobiet "Zadnej z nas nie dostaniecie" .  fot Marek M Berezowski/REPORTER

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, the 10 th Leica Street Photo has just finished! The edition was
exceptional and brought us a lot of surprises. First of all, we have received several
thousand great works from all over the world. Secondly, the level of the competition was
extremely high. We were hardly able to select the final twenty photographs and even
more difficult was to choose the Grand Prix. The jury had to meet three times to select
the winner of the main prize. Thirdly, the competition took place in the unique year
2020, which was dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and social protests taking place
practically all over the globe. We spent many hours discussing what does street
photography really means and where is the border between the street and reportage.
Finally, we decided to award the Grand Prix for photography by Marek M. Berezowski.

Susan Sontag in her collection of essays “Regarding the Pain of Others” writes: “Memory
freeze-frames; its basic unit is the single image. In an era of information overload, the
photograph provides a quick way of apprehending something and a compact way for
memorizing it. The photograph is like a quotation, or a maxim or proverb.”
Marek M. Berezowski’s photography is such a maxim, or rather a symbol, which forces
us to reflect and remains for a long time in our memory. The photo from Warsaw is a
complete frame. A perfectly composed, dramatic scene in which oppression collides with
tenderness, the navy blue of police uniforms contrasts with the warm shade of the coats
of hugging women. A multi-plan frame can be divided into several scenes that the eyes
can follow. The masked faces of all characters and the resistance to oppression visible in
the photo are a zeitgeist that brutally sets us in 2020. All these elements make
Berezowski’s photo readable as a kind of symbol of the last year. Due to the formal
minimalism of the frame, we hope that it will also be legible outside Poland. This is a
frame that perfectly comments on the pandemic and the social unrest that swept across
the whole world. That is why the jury of the 10th edition of the Leica Street Photo
competition decided to award the Grand Prix to this photograph.