In a couple of months, the judges behind the Prix Pictet – a young but already well-respected photography prize – will announce a high profile shortlist of environmentally-conscious photographers reacting to the theme of Power. The winner – someone who, in the jury’s opinion, “has produced a series of work that speaks most powerfully to the theme of the award,” and which serves to raise public consciousness of worldwide sustainability issues – will claim a CHF 100,000 prize, and a whole lot of praise.
Mitch Epstein won the award last year for his series American Power, a probing collection of pictures seeking to address US energy production issues. And in 2010, Israeli-born, London-based photographer Nadav Kander picked up first place for Yangtze, The Long River, an equally investigative contemplation on the role Asia’s great river plays in the lives of the countless families living on its banks.
Kander was on hand this morning, at a Prix Pictet press breakfast, to congratulate its organisers on the competition’s integrity, which might once have been called into question given the fact the award was founded by Pictet & Cie, the Geneva-based private bank.
Here we take the chance to look back at the photographer’s vast series, which, two years after its completion, remains as poignant a comment on human progression as when first released.