Protests, street violence, families trying to go about their normal lives, a charged atmosphere of emotional highs and lows and rising tensions leading up to the January revolution in Tahir Square in Cairo.
Refugee activists fleeing violence and oppression in their home country, only to find violence, censorship and oppression in their new European home country as they have to live in refugee camps without representation or work permits.
21st century surveillance, modern technology tracking everyone through the internet and by the use of drones and top secret installations that are no longer secret and are themselves being tracked and watched.
Watching the sudden helplessness and loss of memory and movement from a father who is now suffering the debilitating effects of a stroke and can no longer complete his project to restore his classic Fiat 500. “Like my relationship with my father, this car will remain forever unfinished” (Erik Kessels)
This is the reality of life in the 21st century recorded through the camera lenses of the four finalists in the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2016 which recognises a living photographer who has significantly contributed to photography in Europe between October 2014 and September 2015. The work of the finalists, Laura El-Tantawy, Trevor Paglan, Tobias Zielony and Erik Kessels are displayed over two floors at the Photographers’ Gallery in London, so that each photographer is given a good amount of space in which to display their work, including car parts from the unfinished Fiat 500, with the winner being announced later in the year.
As Sean O’Hagan from the Guardian writes: “…its political thrust is an encouraging sign that photography is once again engaging with the real world in new and surprising ways.”