Fourteen candidates from eight different countries were short-listed from 76 entries. They were selected as much for their extremely well-researched projects as for the outstanding quality of their photographs.
The panel of judges, chaired by the photographer, filmmaker and artist William Klein, was composed of:
- Christian Caujolle, journalist, author, exhibition curator, and founder of the
VU gallery and agency
- Guillaume Herbaut, photographer, founder member of the Oeil Public agency
- Fabrice Hergott, director of the Museum of Modern Art in the City of Paris
- Jean‐Luc Marty, editorial director and editor-in-chief of Géo magazine
- Alain Mingam, photojournalist , exhibition curator and agent
- Vivienne Walt, correspondent for Time Magazine
The subject given to photographers for the 2009 Prize was “The Gaza Strip”.
The panel’s discussions focused first on the quality of the photographic work together with the photographer’s chosen approach and unique perspective. Next, they examined the originality of the written proposals and the capacity of each candidate to present a fresh and meaningful view.
At the end of a first round of very lively analysis, the work of three finalists offering differing approaches was singled out: Kai Wiedenhöfer from Germany, Eman Mohammed from Palestine and Lizzie Sadin from France.
In its discussions, the judges made special mention of the quality and sensitivity of the work of 22-year old Eman Mohammed on the condition of Palestinian women, for which she was awarded the judges’ Special Prize.
The panel finally decided to award the project to Kai Wiedenhöfer.