This years shortlist includes one of my favourite photographers - Lynne Cohen. I've talked about her at least a couple of times before.
As an aside, reading the bios I note Cohen has recently been photographing in Cuba. When I hear that phrase (as I did from another wonderful Canadian photographer recently) there's a little part of me that cringes. So many good photographers seem to have gone to Cuba in recent years and stumbled. Somehow they get entranced by the whole old crumbling Havana, peeling colours, 1950's old cars, Buena Vista Social Club thing and apparently manage to lose all the sensibilities that usually makes their work compelling or unique and end up producing something that would look just fine in National Geographic... but Dave Harvey has already done an excellent job at covering that base and it's been overdone ever since. Somehow everyone seems to forget Walker Evan's Cuba - among others.
I've only been to Cuba once, but did travel a bit (and never went to Havana). Where are the pictures of the isolated tourist resorts? Or the parade ground in Santa Clara built on a scale on the Communists could imagine? Or what photographer has been allowed to photograph on their own terms inside the physically oppressive yet aura filled Che Guevara Mausoleum? Or the Motorway/Freeway that just... peters out on the ground well before it does on the map - because it was designed and funded by the East Germans and work just stopped when the Berlin Wall fell?
So when I hear of a photographer whose work I like and admire photographing in Cuba, I both cringe a little bit inside as I say to myself; "oh no, I hope not...?" and at the same time there's also some excited anticipation as I think; "hmm... this could be good".
Back to the Grange Prize, the other three shortlisted photographers are Marco Antonio Cruz:
and Federico Gama:
and Jin-me Yoon:
All worthy contenders. You don't have to be Canadian to vote - so why not head over to their website and vote for your favourite of the three. You've got until May 24th to make your choice.
(P.S. I had some trouble logging on to the Grange Prize website - it may have just been my browser, but let me know if it's more widespread than that...)