International photography contest, Prix Pictet, focuses on sustainabilty and water

The first annual photography contest to focus on the theme of “sustainability” awarded Benoit Aquin its grand prize Friday. The award ceremony for the Prix Pictet was overseen by former Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan.

Each year, the theme of “sustainability” is underscored — focusing on “stories of urgent global significance.” This year’s sub-theme was water.

The Canadian born Aquin chose to focus on the desertification of central China, with a series called “The Chinese ‘Dust Bowl.'”

“Each artist has addressed the environmental and social challenges we face in their own personal way,” Annan said during the ceremony. “The result is a series of powerful images which seeks to confront us with the scale of the threat we face and to inspire governments, businesses, – and all of us as individuals – to step up to the challenge and support change for a sustainable world.”

Aquin was awarded a prize of 100,000 Swiss francs (USD 85,000).

See coverage in the BBC and find Aquin’s photo series here. Inset photo by Aquin.

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