Lebensmittel Photo by Michael Schmidt

Michael Schmidt wins Photographic Prix Pictet

2 minutes read

Global green photography prize awarded for series on food

German Photographer Michael Schmidt has won the prestigious Prix Pictet for his series of images Lebensmittel (which means foodstuff) about the food industry. The Prix Pictet is the world’s leading prize in photography and sustainability. The award aims to uncover outstanding photography applied to confront the most pressing social and environmental challenges of today. The winner receives CHF 100,000 (GBP£66,800) from the Swiss wealth and asset management group.

Schmidt’s series of pictures, taken between 2006 and 2010 looks at the link between our industrialised food production and what we eat. Sadly he died aged 68 a few days ago, which is a tragic end to a long career which had reached a pinnacle of success by winning the prize.

275 photographers from 66 different countries entered the competition. Ten photographers were shortlisted, including renowned US visual image creators Adam Bartos and Laurie Simmons, the Belgian-born British photographer Mishka Henner and the Chinese photographer Hong Hao.

Kofi Annan, Honorary President of Prix Pictet, said, ‘The shortlisted artists have made powerful images that ought to persuade governments, businesses – and each of us as individual consumers – of the need for a fundamental rethink of the principles on which present-day affluence is founded. The issue of unsustainable consumption, and in particular food and nutrition security, is not simply at the forefront of the global political stage, it is now firmly on the personal agenda of each and every one of us.’

Speaking on behalf of the Jury, the environmental scientist Sir David King, Chair of the Judges, said, ‘We were privileged to review work by eleven truly outstanding photographers. There were many potential winners but, after much debate, we finally agreed to award the Prix Pictet to Michael Schmidt whose Lebensmittel is an epic and hugely topical investigation into the ways in which we feed ourselves.

Photo copyright Michael Schmidt.

The winning entries are being exhibited at the V & A museum in London until 14th June 2014.

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