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Prix Pictet


A photograph of a woman wearing a large metal neck piece and standing on a tall pile of smoking logs in the desert

Prix Pictet Fire, the ninth cycle of the Prix Pictet photography prize, presents work by 13 photographers from Austria, Belgium, Benin, Cambodia, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, Switzerland, and USA who are shortlisted for this year’s prize. Prix Pictet aims to harness the power of photography encompassing all genres to draw global attention to issues of sustainability, and especially those concerning the environment.

A horizontal collage of several darkly lit images featuring fire and lightning
Carla Rippey, Immolation, 2009, Courtesy of the artist
A portrait of a woman in a foggy forest with smoking hair looks past the camera
David Uzochukwu, Wildfire, 2015, Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Number 8
A sepia photograph of a desolate, bare forest with branches in the shape of a cross in the foreground
Sally Mann, Blackwater 13, 2008-2012, Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian


Fire has hardly been out of the news since the inferno that consumed Notre Dame in Paris in early 2019, with record rainforest blazes in the Amazon, forest and bush fires in Australia and conflagrations in California among many other ecological disasters. The bodies of work shortlisted for Prix Pictet Fire draw their inspiration from both major global events and personal experiences. The photographic images span documentary, portraiture, landscape, collage and studies of light and process.

American photographer Sally Mann took the prize in 2021 for her series Blackwater (2008-2012), a multifaceted exploration of the devastating wildfires that enveloped the Great Dismal Swamp in southeastern Virginia, where the first slave ships docked in America.

Fire also features work by other established photographers including Rinko Kawauchi who photographed firework displays throughout Japan every summer from 1997-2001 and Mak Remissa whose series Left 3 Days recalls deeply personal memories during the Khmer Rouge occupation of Phnom Penh. They are joined by young and emerging names in photography, including David Uzochukwu, whose portraiture series In The Wake is set within an unknown landscape on fire, and Daisuke Yokota, whose series Matter / Burn Out explores the act of reconstructing meaning and value through the act of burning his own masterpiece Matter after its exhibition in China, documenting the process in 4,000 photographs whereby the data was processed, manipulated and revived to form a brand new work.


Founded by the Pictet Group in 2008, the award is recognized as the world’s leading prize for photography. On an approximately 18-month cycle, each theme aims to provoke discussion and debate on issues of sustainability. The prize of 100,000 Swiss francs is awarded for a body of work that addresses most powerfully the theme of the award.

The shortlisted works of each cycle have been shown in exhibitions in many major cities around the world, including Gallery of Photography, Dublin; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Musée de l’Elysées, Lausanne; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, Thessaloniki; and LUMA Westbau, Zurich among others.