Born in Baltimore in 1948, the photojournalist is well-known for her time in Nicaragua in the late 70s, during which she covered the riots triggered by the assassination of the director of the opposition newspaper, La Prensa. Her work has always been based on long-term immersion and an exchange between communities, tackling subjects from “ethnic and religious conflicts, human rights issues to the sex industry”.
Brett Rogers, chair of the judging panel and director of the Photographer’s Gallery, praised Meiselas’ “consistent approach to the medium and her personal investment in the stories, histories and communities she documents”. She said she “has carved out a new and important form of socially engaged photography”.
The award is nowadays the most prestigious prize for contemporary photography, as shown by its previous winners, including big names such as Trevor Paglen, Dana Lixenberg and Sophie Ristelhueber.
Susan Meiselas’ work is on show until June 2 at the Photographers’ Gallery in London, alongside that of the prize’s other finalists, Laia Abril, Arwed Messmer and Mark Ruwedel.