This special issue coincides with the announcement of the winners of the Source-Cord Prize, Takashi Arai ($10,000 first prize), Andrea Grützner (second prize $1000) and Sebastian Collett (third prize $500). As part of the prize we are publishing work by the three winners along with specially commissioned essays.
In discussing his work Takashi Arai draws on the contrasting historical imagery of the film footage of the nuclear cloud over Hiroshima, with its dreamlike quality, and the ground level images showing the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But it was the meltdown of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant on 11 March 2011 that directly exposed him to nuclear disaster and led him to make images in the contaminated landscape surrounding the plant. Using a Daguerreotype process (in contrast to instantaneous photojournalistic technology), he found that over-exposed sky areas often turned to slate blue or deep turquoise. Marco Bohr introduces his work and notes how 'the chemical imperfections in Arai's daguerreotypes visually support the narrative of nuclear contamination'.
Andrea Grützner spent her early childhood in Polenz, a village east of Dresden and made frequent visits to its 'Erbgericht' a type of traditional 'guest house'. The building, which is more than a hundred years old, also acts as a cultural centre for the village, and functions as 'a projection screen for generations of memories and emotions'. Grützner has returned to the village - a place where she feels simultaneously at home and alienated - to produce images that are 'between memory and artifice; shadow and substance'.
Sebastian Collett is also concerned with the desire to 'situate the self in time'. His work Vanishing Point has its staring point in a high school reunion that brought him back to where he grew up in a small college town in Ohio. As he began to make portraits he found himself searching for stand-ins from his past: 'As I walked those familiar streets, I felt awakening inside me the boy I had been, and the boys I had longed to be. They were still living, but frozen in time - trapped in the body of a man twice their age. The experience was surreal - at once disturbing and awe-inspiring.'
The standard of submissions to the Source-Cord Prize was high, work by the 25 shortlisted photographers can be seen at www.cordprize.com. We would like to thank all those photographers who took the time to submit work, the judges - Kate Bush, Stefanie Grebe and Mariko Takeuchi - for their commitment to this year's prize, and our partner Andrew Lindsay with whom plans are now in progress for Source-Cord 2015.