Gauri Gill wins tenth Prix Pictet award
Congratulations to Gauri Gill for winning the tenth Prix Pictet, themed around the topic ‘Human’, with her acclaimed ongoing series Notes from the Desert.
Gauri Gill has recently been announced as the winner of the tenth cycle of the Prix Pictet, a global award for photography and sustainability. Selected from a shortlist of twelve photographers by an independent jury, her winning series – Notes from the Desert – exemplifies the award’s ‘Human’ theme. As Executive Director of Prix Pictet, Isabelle von Ribbentrop, commented:
“In a world facing unprecedented challenges, from social inequality to environmental crises, it was crucial to turn the lens towards humanity itself. The theme Human provides a platform to explore the complexities, vulnerabilities, and strengths of the human condition. It allows the artists to capture and communicate the stories, struggles and triumphs of individuals and communities around the globe.”
Notes from the Desert began in April 1999, when Gauri set out to photograph village schools in Rajasthan. Having grown up mainly in cities, she soon realised that she knew nothing of the complex microcosm of the schools and their surrounding communities. Since then, Gauri has been closely engaging with marginalised people in the desert of western Rajasthan for more than two decades, working with and through the community via a process she calls ‘active listening’.
Visiting the same people and places over many years, Gauri has witnessed life in all its multitudes: drought years and great monsoons; dust storms leading to fevers, and floods leading to the rebuilding of homes; epidemics; overwhelmed hospitals and understaffed schools; festivals, feuds, celebrations, and prayers.
Regarding her series, Gauri said: “On my many visits to rural Rajasthan, I have witnessed a complex reality I knew nothing about as a city dweller. To live poor and landless in the desert amounts to an inescapable reliance on oneself, on each other, and on nature. These fragments of shared experience now inhabit a large photographic archive called Notes from the Desert, encompassing different narratives and varied forms of image making.”
The Prix Pictet 2023 shortlisted artists were:
Hoda Afshar, Iran
Gera Artemova, Ukraine
Ragnar Axelsson, Iceland
Alessandro Cinque, Italy/Peru
Siân Davey, UK
Gauri Gill, India
Michał Łuczak, Poland
Yael Martínez, Mexico
Richard Renaldi, US
Federico Ríos Escobar, Colombia
Vanessa Winship, UK/Bulgaria
Vasantha Yogananthan, France