pdnonline.com JUNE 2017
LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER
The PDN Photo
Annual is a visual
record of the year
student work. It
is a document of
the way photographers view our world
collectively. The Photo Annual is valuable
to the selected photographers because
it positions them as leaders in their
respective fields, and photo editors and
creatives look at the competition to see
who is making great work.
The entries this year show the need for
independent photojournalism in the world
and the impact that photographs can have.
Magnus Wennman’s book Where the
Children Sleep, which we selected for
this year’s Publisher’s Choice Award, is
dedicated to the more than two million
Syrian children who have been forced to
flee their homes over the last six years.
Though the topic is grim, the physical
distance from it and the 24/7 news cycle
can cause desensitization. Wennman,
a Swedish-born photographer, found
a striking yet simple esthetic to effect
empathy. The book, a series of portraits that
show where children sleep after escaping
the Syrian civil war, states: “One misses his
own bed. Another, her doll with dark eyes.
A third dreams himself back to a time when
his pillow was not an enemy.” Wennman
began the project in 2015, and in 2016 it
became a book and traveling exhibition,
creating the space for people to come
to together to discuss the future of our
children. This is the power of storytelling
by a photographer committed to making
sure the work is seen.
Mark Peterson is the first recipient
of the $10,000 Photographer of the Year
prize. He won for his book Political Theatre,
published by Steidl in 2016. The book’s
images, shot on assignment for MSNBC.
com, document three years of American
politics and push the curtain back on
the disingenuous performance that the
country’s political campaigns have become.
No less important in the Photo Annual are
the sections on personal work and student
work, which showcase the powerful projects
that photographers have self-assigned and
self-funded. Collectively, the Photo Annual
is a showcase of the power of photography
today. We hope you enjoy the issue!
Lauren Wendle, Vice President, Publisher
Phone: 646-668-3762 Cell: 646-592-2882