The winner of the 2014 Deutsche Börse Photography Prize has been announced: Irish photographer Richard Mosse and his series, The Enclave. The prize-winning work documents violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo while examining photography’s inability to fully communicate the depth of the tragedy.

The Enclave was first shown at the Venice Biennale, at the Irish Pavilion, in the summer of 2013. In the work, Mosse documents a haunting landscape touched by appalling human tragedy in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where 5.4 million people have died of war-related causes since 1998. Shot on discontinued, infrared military surveillance film, the kind once used to detect camouflaged installations, the resulting imagery registers an invisible spectrum of infrared light and renders the jungle war-zone in disorienting psychedelic hues. At the project’s heart are the points of failure of documentary photography. Mosse’s work is an attempt to find an alternate strategy which might adequately communicate this complex and horrific cycle of violence.

The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize is an annual award of £30,000 rewarding a living photographer, of any nationality, for a specific body of work in an exhibition or publication format, which significantly contributed to photography in Europe during that year.


Editor’s Note: The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize is organized each year by
The Photographers’ Gallery in London.