The Colombian photographer Juan Fernando Herrán has been announced as the winner of the fifth Prix Pictet Commission. Selected by partners of the Pictet Group, Herrán will respond to the commission’s theme of Consumption and produce a series of photographs examining the material culture in three of Colombia’s indigenous communities. Revealing the result late last week, the Chairman of Prix Pictet, Stephen Barber, expressed delight in the news that Herrán had agreed to undertake the commission: “Juan Fernando has a deep connection with the place and its people, and in our experience this is a strong basis for a successful commission”.
Taking into consideration Prix Pictet’s elected theme, Herrán will address issues of mass-produced consumer goods in relation to the basic needs of humans. In visiting and documenting the Colombian communities of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the Amazonas and Guajira desert, the photographer will offer a renewed insight into human societies existing without the fundamental need for objects of material or economic value. The development of this project will be supported by Geneva-based charity, OneAction, who have a distinguished track record for the production of sustainability projects in Latin America. Running in parallel to the Pictet Commission is OneAction’s collaborative project with the Institute of Research, Education and Public Promotion of Ecuador (INEPE), which is being supported by Pictet.
Founded by the Pictet Group in 2008, the Prix Pictet has rapidly established itself as the world’s leading prize in photography and sustainability. Split into two sections – the Photographer’s Prize and the Photographer’s Commission – the awarding body aim to uncover outstanding photography applied to confront the most pressing social and environmental challenges of today. Herrán was shortlisted and later selected for the commission following a presentation of his Escalas (2008) series: a documentation of the suburban neighbourhoods of Medellin, the second most important city in Colombia. The photographer will commence the commission with a funded field trip to his selected communities, and will conclude the project with an exhibition and accompanying catalogue in London, 2015.
Further information can be found at www.prixpictet.com.
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1. Juan Fernando Herrán, Escalas 2008. Courtesy of Herrán and Prix Pictet.