First Book Prize in Photography Countdown Highlights Past Winners: From 2010, Benjamin Lowy’s “Iraq | Perspectives”

Iraqi girls line-up after the completion of a school day as seen from behind the safety of an armored Humvee window. Photography by Benjamin Lowy.

From “Iraq | Perspectives” by Benjamin Lowy

In anticipation of next month’s publication of 2012 Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography winner Gerard H. Gaskin’s Legendary: Inside the House Ballroom Scene, we’re taking a look back at previous winners of this prestigious biennial prize, which offers, among other things, publication of a book of photography.

This month, we’re featuring the final winner in our retrospective, Benjamin Lowy, chosen for the 2010 First Book Prize by iconic photographer William Eggleston. Lowy shot the arresting color photographs in Iraq | Perspectives over a six-year period through Humvee windows and military-issue night vision goggles. “Iraq was a land of blast walls and barbed wire fences,” he writes. “These pictures show a fragment of Iraqi daily life taken by a transient passenger in a Humvee; yet they are a window to a world where work, play, tension, grief, survival, and everything in between is as familiar as the events of our own lives.” The acclaimed book was widely reviewed and was chosen as a top photo book of 2011 by Time Magazine and the British Journal of Photography.

In 2012, Deborah Willis selected Gerard H. Gaskin to win the latest prize in this important series celebrating American photography. Gaskin’s Legendary will be co-published in fall 2013 by the Center for Documentary Studies and Duke University Press, and an exhibit of his work will be on view at CDS from November 4, 2013–February 22, 2014.

View photos from Iraq | Perspectives, Legendary, and other CDS/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography winners.

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