The European Photo Exhibition Award – epea for short – aims to create a free space where socially relevant topics concerning Europe are developed and discussed by talented young European photographers. The twelve appointed photographers will translate their observations, analyses and statements on a set and socially relevant subject into a photo essay. The results will be presented in a joint touring exhibition within Europe.
The award focuses on talented photographers who live and work in Europe and who still are at an early stage of establishing themselves as professional photographers. The curators Rune Eraker (freelance photographer, Oslo), Sérgio Mah (curator and sociologist, Lisbon), Enrico Stefanelli (artistic director Lucca Photo Fest, Lucca) and Ingo Taubhorn (curator at the Haus der Photographie, Hamburg) choose the photographers and mentor them throughout the work process. In addition, the twelve appointed photographers receive a grant and will participate in two workshops. These offer them the opportunity to work together with experts on the chosen topic and to exchange views and share working methods with the other European photographers and the four curators. Finally, the touring exhibition throughout top exhibition venues and festivals such as Paris Photo gives the upcoming photographers the chance to present themselves at a prestigious location.

This initiative by the Fondazione Banca del Monte di Lucca (Italy), the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (Portugal), the Fritt Ord Foundation (Norway) and the Körber-Stiftung (Germany) aims to contribute to and to intensify dialogue within Europe. It also wants to support young European photographers at the beginning of their careers by providing international facilities. All four partners commit themselves to this philosophy and welcome other foundations from other European countries to join this project as the European space should be represented by as many countries and views as possible.

The European Photo Exhibition Award 01 focused on the question of “European Identities”. The first exhibition opening at the Haus der Photographie in the Deichtorhallen Hamburg was held in May 2012 and will be followed by further shows in Paris during Paris Photo 2012, Lucca during Lucca Photo Fest 2012 and Oslo in 2013.