2008 Prix Pictet Winner Announced

Untitled 08, Genghis Khan Braving the Storm
Series: The Chinese “Dust Bowl”
Ink Jet Art Canvas
70 X 107 cm
Xilinhot City, Inner Mongolia, Chin

Congratulations to Benoit Aquin, for his win of the 2008 Prix Pictet Prize, the largest photographic prize on the subject of sustainability.

From the newsroom and official press release, Kofi Annan, Nobel Laureate and Former Secretary General of the United Nations, yesterday evening announced the winner of the inaugural Prix Pictet as Canadian photographer Benoit Aquin at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris. The £50,000 (CHF 100,000) Prix Pictet is the only photography prize to focus on the most important global issue of our time: sustainability. For the Prix Pictet’s inaugural year the focus was on water.

Each year the Prix Pictet will address a distinct sustainability issue. It aims to use the power of the photographic medium to communicate crucial sustainability messages to a global audience. The series of photographs entered by Benoit Aquin was on desertification in China and entitled The Chinese Dust Bowl.

Making the formal presentation at an awards dinner in the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Kofi Annan said: “Today, nearly 1.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water and 2.5 billion are without basic sanitation. And it is through water, as the images in this collection illustrate, that we are seeing early and devastating manifestations of one of the greatest threats our world faces – climate change.

“It is my hope that the Prix Pictet, the world’s first prize dedicated to photography and sustainability, will help to deepen understanding of the changes taking place in our world and raise public awareness about the urgency of taking preventative action. Each artist has addressed the environmental and social challenges we face in their own personal way. The result is a series of powerful images which seeks to confront us with the scale of the threat we face and to inspire governments, businesses, – and all of us as individuals – to step up to the challenge and support change for a sustainable world.”

Accepting his prize, Benoit Aquin said: “I am delighted to win the Prix Pictet. It is a real honour especially when judged against such a prestigious shortlist. The Prix Pictet validates environmental photography as a subject both from a photo-journalism and an artistic point of view, bringing these different disciplines together in one competition to explore globally significant environmental issues. It is hugely welcome.

“My series The Chinese Dust Bowl shows just what happens when we miss manage the environment. These issues should not just be seen in the context of one country, they are global issues. They effect us all. And as a global population, we must solve them.”

To download the official press release, click here.

Congratulations to Benoit, who’s work was written about in an older post you can access here. I look forward to seeing what socially and environmentally aware work he comes up with next.


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2 Responses to “2008 Prix Pictet Winner Announced”

  1. OUTTAKES » Blog Archive » Benoit Aquin Says:

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