Sally Mann wins Prix Pictet ‘Fire’: World’s top photography prize

Prize-winning series explores the devastating wildfires in the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia

Photographer Sally Mann has been announced the winner of the ninth cycle of the Prix Pictet, the global award in photography and sustainability, on the theme of Fire.

Sally Mann, "Blackwater 13", 2008-2012. From the series Blackwater, 2008-2012

Sally Mann, "Blackwater 3", 2008-2012. From the series Blackwater, 2008-2012

For her series Blackwater, Mann explored the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia, a dangerous terrain slithering with snakes, predators, insects and heavy foliage, that many escaped slaves travelled through towards freedom. Mann documented the vast fires and thick smoke that consumed the swamp during her visit and which seemed to epitomise the great fire of racial strife in America.The announcement was made at a ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London on Wednesday 15 December 2021, marking the opening of a major exhibition showcasing the twelve series of powerful photographs shortlisted for the prize. The shortlisted bodies of work all explore the topical theme of ‘Fire’, which has been the focus of this cycle of the award.

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