The Prix Pictet is an annual search for photographs that communicate powerful messages of global environmental significance under a broad theme. This year that theme is „earth‟. Nadav Kander was nominated for his series of photos, Yangtze, The Long River Series, 2006-07, documenting the rapidly changing landscape and communities of China‟s Yangtze River, from its mouth to source.
The photographers were selected from a shorlist of twelve of the world‟s leading photographers: Darren Almond, Christopher Anderson, Sammy Baloji, Edward Burtynsky, Andreas Gursky, Naoya Hatakeyama, Nadav Kander, Ed Kashi, Abbas Kowsari, Yao Lu, Edgar Martins and Chris Steele-Perkins.
Making the formal presentation at an awards dinner at the Passage de Retz in Paris, Kofi Annan, honorary president of the Prix Pictet said that the photographs were a compelling call for action to tackle climate change, the most serious humanitarian and environmental challenge facing the world today:
“Only weeks separate us from the decisive negotiations on climate change in Copenhagen. We are confronted with the vital need to prepare the political momentum necessary for a fair and effective post-Kyoto agreement. The images in front of us remind us of the fragility of our planet and the damage we have already done. When we see these photographs we cannot close our eyes and remain indifferent. Through our actions and voices, we must keep building the pressure to secure urgent action at Copenhagen and beyond.”
The exhibition of the Prix Pictet 2009 Shortlist will be at the Passage de Retz, Paris, 23 October – 23 November 2009.
The Prix Pictet 2009 publication, Earth, was launched at the opening of the Prix Pictet 2009 Preview exhibition at Purdy Hicks Gallery, on 6 October 2009. Writing in the foreword to the book Kofi Annan says ‘This book contains a collection of stunning images from some of the world’s best and most original photographers. Together, these photographs highlight the beauty of the earth we share.But they also expose the damage, deliberately or carelessly, we are inflicting on our own environment.’