Photography That's Aware
Prix Pictet – the world’s photography award for environmental sustainability – announces 2009 shortlist
A shortlist of twelve outstanding international photographers, from which one will be selected later this year to receive the Prix Pictet, the world’s photography prize for environmental sustainability, has just been announced at Europe’s leading photography festival, Les Rencontres d’Arles in France.
Photographers shortlisted for the £60,000 first prize are:
Darren Almond, UK; Christopher Anderson, Canada; Sammy Baloji, Congo; Edward Burtynsky, Canada; Naoya Hatakeyama, Japan; Andreas Gursky, Germany; Nadav Kander, South Africa; Ed Kashi, USA; Abbas Kowsari, Iran; Yao Lu, China; Edgar Martins, Portugal; and Christopher Steele Perkins, UK.
The Prix Pictet is an annual search for photographs that communicate powerful messages of global environmental significance under a broad theme.
This year the theme is ‘earth’. A Mexican garbage dump where people forage to sustain a pitiful existence; the changing landscape and displaced communities of China’s Yangtze River; the devastating impact of oil production in the Niger Delta; and the annual pilgrimage to the desert fronts of the Iran-Iraq war are among the subjects that feature in the work of this year’s shortlisted artists.
All The submissions speak of the harmful and often irreversible effects of exploiting the earth’s resources and reflect on the immediate and long-term impact of unsustainable development on communities across the globe.
The shortlisted works will be previewed at Purdy Hicks Gallery in London from 5 to 7 October, in Geneva from 24 to 29 September and at Passage de Retz gallery in Paris from 23 October to 24 November 2009.
‘Earth’, a book cataloguing the work of both the shortlisted photographers and powerful images produced by a number of other Prix Pictet nominees will accompany this year’s prize. Published by teNeues, the book launches on 6 October at Purdy Hicks Gallery.
The winner will be announced by Kofi Annan, honorary president of the Prix Pictet, on 22 October 2009 at the Passage de Retz gallery. A further award, in the form of a commission for one of the shortlisted photographers to visit a region where Pictet & Cie are currently supporting a sustainability project, will be announced at the same time.
The Prix Pictet will tour to further international venues from late 2009 to early 2010.
An independent jury of seven leading figures from the worlds of the visual arts and the environment, chaired by the Financial Times photography critic, Francis Hodgson, made the selection from over 300 nominations put forward by the seventy Prix Pictet nominators – a group that includes leading critics, practitioners and curators.
Francis Hodgson, chair of the judges said ‘The artistic and technical quality of the entries from photographers around the world has been quite exceptional and the power of the messages the photographers have been able to communicate is extraordinary. The brief - to communicate sustainability issues through photography, with particular reference to this year’s theme of ‘earth’ - has been interpreted with tremendous variety and vigour. Whether reporting in detail on development or aiming more broadly to stimulate thought, the photographers have achieved a very high level of impact. I and the other members of the panel look forward with keen anticipation to selecting the winner of this exciting and prestigious prize.’
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