The first prize in this year’s highly prestigious photographic competition, the ‘Leica Oskar Barnack Award 2010’, goes to the Swedish photographer Jens Olof Lasthein. His award-winning portfolio entitled ‘Waiting for the future – pictures from Abkhazia’ tells the story of the people of the Republic of Abkhazia in the Southern Caucasus.
Although the Republic of Abkhazia – the central theme of the winning portfolio – has gained its independence after a period of unrest and civil war, it is still considered to be a part of Georgia under international law. A politically complex situation that is also reflected in the everyday life of the region. The future of the people there is just as uncertain as that of their home country. It is precisely this uncertainty that Lasthein has captured in his photography.