The global award in photography and sustainability

Sally Mann Wins Prix Pictet


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American artist Sally Mann was announced as the winner of the 9th cycle of the Prix Pictet, the global award in photography and sustainability.

The announcement, at a ceremony in December 2021 at the V&A in London, marks the opening of a major exhibition showcasing the 12 photographic series shortlisted for the prize. Each of the shortlisted bodies of work explores the topical theme of ‘Fire’, the focus of this cycle of the award.

Mann’s winning series Blackwater (2008-2012) is a multifaceted exploration of the devastating wildfires that enveloped the Great Dismal Swamp in southeastern Virginia, where the first slave ships docked in America. In this work, Mann draws a parallel between the all-consuming wildfires she encountered there with racial conflict in America, explaining “the fires in the Great Dismal Swamp seemed to epitomize the great fire of racial strife in America – the Civil War, emancipation, the Civil Rights Movement, in which my family was involved, the racial unrest of the late 1960s and most recently the summer of 2020. Something about the deeply flawed American character seems to embrace the apocalyptic as solution.”

The exhibition of the work of all the shortlisted photographers has now begun its global tour.

The shortlisted photographers are:

Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige (Lebanon)

Rinko Kawauchi (Japan)

Sally Mann (USA)

Christian Marclay (USA/ Switzerland)

Fabrice Monteiro (Belgium/Benin)

Lisa Oppenheim (USA)

Mak Remissa (Cambodia)

Carla Rippey (Mexico)

Mark Ruwedel (USA)

Brent Stirton (South Africa)

David Uzochukwu (Austria/Nigeria)

Daisuke Yokota (Japan)

For more information click here.

Image: David Levene


Prix Pictet announces ‘Fire’ as the theme for the ninth cycle of the award. As Chair Stephen Barber explains, the choice of theme is timely. “Fire has hardly been out of the news since the inferno that consumed Notre Dame in Paris in early 2019. We have seen record rainforest blazes in the Amazon, forest and bush fires in Australia and conflagrations in California. It is the fourth element. Fire destroys and it renews. Fire means survival, renewal, and economic prosperity. Yet our abuse of this most capricious of elements is the source of most of our environmental woes.”