ZAM Reporter

Lebohang Kganye wins the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2024

The artist was announced as the 2024 winner of the prestigious £30,000 prize at a special ceremony at The Photographers’ Gallery, London on Thursday 16 May 2024. The influential prize, in partnership with the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation, rewards artists and their projects recognised as having made the most significant contribution to international contemporary photography over the past 12 months.

Lebohang Kganye was awarded the Prize for the exhibition Haufi nyana? I’ve come to take you home at Foam Amsterdam, The Netherlands (17 February – 21 May 2023). The exhibition resulted from Kganye winning the 2022 Paul Huf Award.

Lebohang Kganye (1990, South Africa) combines photography, sculpture, performance, theatre and moving image into her multifaceted artistic practice. Exploring the connections between personal history and ancestry, Kganye draws inspiration from shared oral histories and fictional texts. Growing up in post-apartheid Johannesburg, she delves into South Africa's complex past and reflects on the realities and consequences of apartheid and colonialism.

Lebohang Kganye by Heather Shuker

The nominated exhibition's title, Haufi nyana? meaning ‘too close?' in Sesotho, one of South Africa's official languages, explores and reimagines notions of home, belonging, heritage and identity. In the large-scale installation on display at The Photographers’ Gallery, Kganye uses silhouettes and life-sized cut-out figures of her family crafted from images in photo albums. The installation considers the impact of her family’s forced migration, due to land acts and apartheid law, including the alteration of their surname. Through symbolic elements, such as a central rotating light representing the Sesotho word for ‘light’, kganya, she symbolises her ancestral heritage. In a response to the jury’s decision, Kganye says: “It's an honour to win the Prize and to have my name alongside this year's shortlisted artists, whose practices are critically engaging the urgent issues of our time.”

Mohlokomedi wa Tora, 2018, Scene 3. © Lebohang Kganye. Courtesy of the artist.

Kganye’s work has been exhibited internationally, at Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan, Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto, Huis Marseille, Amsterdam, the Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg and many more.

The other 2024 shortlisted artists – VALIE EXPORT, Gauri Gill & Rajesh Vangad and Hrair Sarkissian all received £5,000.

The exhibition of all shortlisted artists will be on show at The Photographers' Gallery until 2 June 2024. The exhibition will then be on show at the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation in Eschborn/Frankfurt, Germany, from 15 June to 22 September 2024.