Photographer Sally Mann Wins 2021 Prix Pictet for Series on Wildfires
The US artist Sally Mann has won the 2021 Prix Pictet prize, the global award in photography and sustainability.
The theme of the ninth Prix Pictet was fire. Mann, whose work explores family, social realities and the passage of time, receives a cash prize of 100,000 Swiss francs ($109,000).
Her winning series, Blackwater (2008-2012), explores the devastating wildfires that enveloped the Great Dismal Swamp in south-eastern Virginia, where the first slave ships docked in America.
She draws a parallel between the wildfires there and racial conflict in America, explaining:the US. “The fires in the Great Dismal Swamp seemed to epitomise the great fire of racial strife in America – the civil war, emancipation, the civil rights movement, in which my family was involved, the racial unrest of the late 1960s and most recently the summer of 2020. Something about the deeply flawed American character seems to embrace the apocalyptic as solution,” she says.