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Christopher Anderson | Prix Pictet shortlisted 2009

February 8, 2010

From a recently published post at BLDGBLOG we were driven to the Prix Pictet shortlisted artist [photographers] for the 2009 award. The Prix Pictet tries to answer the question Can the earth’s complex living systems sustain the future consumption patterns of another three billion people in the world’s population by 2050?

According to their vision:

Food riots. Loss of forest cover. Desertification. The ecosystems we depend on appear to face resource demands already beyond their capacity. As governments try urgently to stimulate growth, a central question remains. […] This year the theme is Earth.

the Prix Pictet is the world’s first prize dedicated to photography and sustainability. It has a unique mandate – to use the power of photography to communicate crucial messages to a global audience; and it has a unique goal – art of the highest order, applied to the immense social and environmental threats of the new millennium.

Searching at the site, we find the amazing work of Christopher Anderson, one of the leaders of the new generation of documentary photographers that is razing the wall between art and documentary photography.

Anderson describes his work as the exploration of the relationship between politics, economics, consumption, and the Earth. He approaches the topic of Earth (or more specifically man’s relationship to the earth) by looking at how consumption in the developed world creates the conditions for further destruction of the earth in the developing world, specifically Latin America. More importantly, he examines how this relationship foments poverty, violence and political turmoil.

For the artist statements:

Oil can be the most terrible curse a nation can have. Venezuela has lots of it. Not just oil, but iron ore, aluminium, gold, and other valuable natural resources. At the same time, the country imports the majority of its food supply. The entire economy is built around the ever-expanding exploitation of resources. A few get rich, but the masses stay poor. Venezuelan history is a long list of one leader after another who rise to power on populist anger, but can never seem to pull the country out of this cycle: resources flow north and food flows south. Quite literally, the Venezuelans depend on their earth to pay for their food and that leads to even further destruction of their environment.

As Kofi Annan, the Prix Pictet’s Honorary President, said “The images submitted for the Prix Pictet confront us with the scale of the threat we face and they act to inspire governments, businesses – and all of us as individuals – to step up to the challenge and support change for a sustainable world.”

More info: Prix Pictet web-site

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