Leica Camera announced today American photographer Mustafah Abdulaziz as the winner for the 2019 Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA) for his series, ‘Water’ (see pictures above). German photographer Nanna Heitmann was also announced as the winner of the Newc
The Alicia Patterson Foundation has named its 2018 fellowships to support in-depth reporting on long-term projects. Two of the eight winners are photographers: Mustafah Abdulaziz of New York City and Nancy Andrews of Pittsburgh. All the fellows are awarde
15 years and 32 countries: Mustafah Abdulaziz’s Water project presents an outstanding full-time commitment to documenting our relationship with water. The initial idea to embark on such a journey began in 2011 and has since developed into a monumental ongoing photography series that couldn’t be more necessary worldwide. Ideas surrounding water and our intimate affair we have with the natural resource are often underrepresented; water connects everything, it’s the source of life and the stem of all routes. Our planet is in jeopardy and Mustafah aims to tell the story of this crisis through powerful imagery. We were lucky enough to talk to him to find out more about this project and the impact it will have on a global level.
By spotlighting the ways in which we behave towards our resources, the project sets the stage for viewers to see themselves in a greater global dialogue. This is the future of the work: unifying water as both a physical resource and a conceptual idea.
To mark the UN's World Water Day I caught up with the photographer to talk about how different cultures perceive water, its exploitation, and the challenges to preserve our planet's most vital resource.
IN THIS INTERVIEW > 30 year-old American photographer Mustafah Abdulaziz discusses Water, a stunning, long-term documentary project with a global scope about how we use water, and the threats posed by its scarcity. Mustafah started working on this project in 2011, and intends to continue at least until 2026.
The environmental photo award Syngenta just announced the winners of their second photo competition titled “Scarcity-Waste.” Mustafah Abdulaziz won first place in the Professional Competition for his ongoing “Water” series that tracks water issues around the globe. Abdulaziz will take home $15,000 USD plus a $25,000 USD commission for the winning work. Benedikt Partenheimer was named the first place winner of the Open Competition for an image made in Shanghai, China, documenting particle pollution. Partenheimer will take home a $5,000 USD prize.
Mustafah Abdulaziz is a documentary photographer based in Berlin, Germany. He has been a member of the international photography collective MJR since 2008. This work is from his series, Patagonian Cowboys.
Mustafah Abdulaziz is surrounded by the same landscape, lit by the same saturating afternoon light as the rest of us, but sees things differently, capturing “the scene that strives to appear one way but looks to me another.”
While his essay, “Memory Loss,” is set to the tune of an American road trip, for him, it is much more than that. The photos explore distance and disconnect. They are both experimental and experiential. “It’s like I had to go on a road trip,” Mr. Abdulaziz said. “I had to go where nothing belonged to me.”
“I present these photographs as part of an index of a greater idea, of something I find myself drawn towards not as a photographer but as a person. They are a marker, an index for photographs yet to be realized. In this I find excitement. The threads are here but where do they lead? They are an introduction of sorts and a departure.” Photographs by Mustafah Abdulaziz
Thank you for your response to my post yesterday critisizing the way way certain photo agencies seem content to abuse the rights of indvidual photographers. I am sorry that we misunderstood you. Might that have something to do with upholding a logic that many people find is at odds with your self stated remit of ‘defending professional photographers’?