Twelve great photographers were chosen as finalists for the prestigious Prix Pictet award. Lens Culture is happy to present an overview of the nominated work. The winners (Mitch Epstein and Chris Jordan) were announced in Paris on Thursday March 17 by HE Kofi Annan. Prix Pictet is the world’s leading prize in photography and sustainability. The theme for this year’s edition is Growth.

The jury looked for photographic series of the highest artistic merit that also presented a convincing narrative about the critical issues of sustainability and in particular, the theme of Growth. Growth, which lifts countless millions out of poverty, also has a huge and potentially unsustainable environmental cost. It presents one of the great conundrums facing humanity in the early decades of the twenty-first century.

The shortlisted artists were:

Christian Als (Denmark)
Edward Burtynsky (Canada)
Stéphane Couturier (France)
Mitch Epstein (US)
Chris Jordan (US)
Yeondoo Jung (Korea)
Vera Lutter (Germany)
Nyaba Leon Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso) Taryn Simon (US)
Thomas Struth (Germany)
Guy Tillim (South Africa)
Michael Wolf (Germany)

The eight-member jury consists of a panel of international experts chaired by Professor Sir David King, Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment at the University of Oxford.

Members include: Shahidul Alam, photographer, writer, curator and activist; Peter Aspden, the Financial Times arts writer; Michael Fried, art historian and critic; Loa Haagen Pictet, curator of Pictet & Cie’s art collection; Nadav Kander, the 2009 winner of the Prix Pictet; Christine Loh, chief executive of Civic Exchange, Hong Kong, and a leading environmental campaigner; and Fumio Nanjo, director of the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo.

Lens Culture features full-length articles about the winning photographers in our current issue: Mitch Epstein and Chris Jordan.

Lens Culture Archives include earlier, full-length articles and audio interviews with three ofther finalists: Guy Tillim, Edward Burtynsky and Michael Wolf.