One winter night at a charity shop in Paris, a young Afghan refugee named Zaman arrived at the store. He had travelled for sixteen months from Kabul in a flimsy pair of flip flops, and was looking for a new pair of shoes. When presented with the selection of footwear on offer, Zaman said, “Not ugly sneakers – sneakers like Jay-Z”.
This anecdote was the starting point for photographers Ambroise Tézenas and Frédéric Delangle, leading to a project that questions the social function of clothing for refugees. Sneakers like Jay-Z was commissioned by the charity Emmaüs Solidarity – who currently run over 600 second-hand shops in France – and is the winning project of the inaugural Ooshot Award.
The Ooshot Award is the first photographic prize dedicated to commissioned photography. Valerie Hersleven, founder of the award, wants to break the boundaries between art and commercial photography, pointing out that some of the greatest photographs in history were made under a commission. One of her favourite images, Tears by Man Ray, for example, was created for the mascara brand Cosmecil in 1933.
The exhibition will be hosted by advertising agency BETC, and will run at Magasins Généraux in Paris from 19 to 28 April. Tézenas and Delangle will be exhibiting their winning project, as well as some new personal work that has been funded by the 10,000EUR prize for winning the award.
Also on show will be photographs by 25 other image-makers, all produced for commercial campaigns, including Charlie Engman for Emilio Pucci, Alma Haser for Save the Children, Harry Gruyaert for Hermès, and Christopher Anderson for Canon, among many more.
The winners were selected out of 235 photographers, nominated by industry professionals. The jury of this years award was led by filmmaker and photographer Alex Prager, and included Valerie Hersleven, founder of Ooshot; Francesca Marani, Photo Editor at Vogue.it; Christoph Wiesner, Art Director at Paris Photo; Rémi Babinet, founder of BETC; Xavier Barral, founder of publishing house Editions Xavier Barral; Susana Gallego Cuesta, chief curator at Petit Palais; Sylvain Orebi, president at Orientis; and Sophie Toporkoff, creative director at Hermès.
https://ooshotaward.com/en/ Ooshot Award, The Exhibition, will be on show at Magasins Généraux – BETC from 19 to 28 April