Prix Pictet Commission choose to the UK photographer Simon Norfolk, who undertake a field trip to Afghanistan where Pictet & Cie are supporting the work of Medair, the Swiss-based humanitarian organisation, in the forgotten region of Bamyan Province in Afghanistan. Prix Pictet awarded the 40,000 Swiss Francs (40,000 dollars, £27,000, €30,000).
With each Prix Pictet award, Pictet supports a charity whose work reflects the theme of the prize in that cycle. Simon Norfolk visited Afghanistan with the support of Medair’s Afghan and international staff working on the ground. The photographs produced for the Commission is previewed at Les Rencontres d’Arles and will then be exhibited in London.
‘He has been described as “the leading documentary photographer of our time” and, on behalf of the Partners of Pictet, I am delighted to be able to award the Commission project to Simon Norfolk. This is especially appropriate because for the Commission this year we will invite the chosen photographer to visit Afghanistan and Simon’s experience of working in the region makes him in many ways the ideal choice.‘
Jacques de Saussure, Senior Partner of Pictet & Cie
Simon Norfolk is a multi award-winning landscape photographer whose work over the past ten years has probed and stretched the meaning of the word ‘battlefield’ in all its forms. He has photographed in some of the world’s worst war zones and refugee crises. He has produced three monographs including Afghanistan: Chronotopia (2002) which was published in five languages; For Most of It I Have No Words (1998) about the landscapes of genocide; and Bleed (2005) about the war in Bosnia.