German photographer Kai Wiedenhöfer has won ?50,000 to help fund a photojournalism project focused on the Gaza Strip.

Kai beat 14 shortlisted candidates to win the inaugural Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Prize, judged by a panel chaired by photographer William Klein.

The finalists were tasked with photographing the Gaza Strip and their images assessed on photographic quality, along with the photographer’s chosen approach and ‘unique perspective’.

Judges said that Kai stood out for the ‘consistent way he has monitored, treated and explored the conflict between Israel and Palestine’.

A spokesman for the organisers added: ‘A fluent Arabic speaker, he shows an attachment and understanding that go beyond the news headlines, delving below the surface of moments of tension and extreme violence to produce a coherent documentary record.’

As winner of the 2009 prize Kai will now return to the Gaza Strip to witness and record its reconstruction.

Picture credit: Kai Wiedenhöfer

Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism