Founded in 2008 by Pictet, the Prix Pictet has become the world’s leading award for photography and sustainability. To date, there have been nine cycles of the award, each of which has highlighted a particular facet of sustainability.
Global award in photography and sustainability
The partners of the Pictet Group created the Prix Pictet prize to draw worldwide attention to and stimulate action on issues of sustainability through the medium of photography. Since foundation, the Prix Pictet has focused on environmental themes: there have been nine, beginning with Water, followed by Earth, Growth, Power, Consumption, Disorder, Space, Hope, and Fire.
Prix Pictet Global Photography Award announces ‘Human’ as theme of 10th cycle at Rencontres d’Arles
The announcement was made at a presentation at the Théâtre Antique of the work of Sally Mann, last year’s Prix Pictet Laureate, as part of the annual photography festival Les Rencontres d’Arles on the evening of Friday 8 July.
Commenting on the theme, Isabelle von Ribbentrop, Executive Director, Prix Pictet, said: “We quite rightly celebrate human creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship but too often our triumphs in science, engineering and technology come at monumental cost. The human story is more often a tale of conflict and despair than of nurture, love and co-existence.“
Yet it would be too easy to read the human story as one of tragic hubris. Yet it does not end here. We stand on the threshold of the future wondering which way the dice will fall. Our wager with posterity is that human ingenuity, intelligence, and resilience of spirit is powerful enough to insist upon a very different future for the human story.”
The shortlist of photographers will be announced in early 2023. A major exhibition of the shortlisted portfolios will be held to accompany the award ceremony at the V&A in London in September 2023. The winner of the 10th cycle will receive a cash prize of 100,000 Swiss Francs (£86,000, USD105,000).
Sally Mann wins Prix Pictet ‘Fire’: World’s top photography prize
Prize-winning series explores the devastating wildfires in the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia
Photographer Sally Mann has been announced the winner of the ninth cycle of the Prix Pictet, the global award in photography and sustainability, on the theme of Fire.
For her series Blackwater, Mann explored the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia, a dangerous terrain slithering with snakes, predators, insects and heavy foliage, that many escaped slaves travelled through towards freedom. Mann documented the vast fires and thick smoke that consumed the swamp during her visit and which seemed to epitomise the great fire of racial strife in America.
The announcement was made at a ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London on Wednesday 15 December 2021, marking the opening of a major exhibition showcasing the twelve series of powerful photographs shortlisted for the prize. The shortlisted bodies of work all explore the topical theme of ‘Fire’, which has been the focus of this cycle of the award.