In a World Fit for Humans? Posthumanism and the Nature-Culture Continuum in the Prix Pictet

Peck, Julia ORCID: 0000-0001-5134-2471 (2021) In a World Fit for Humans? Posthumanism and the Nature-Culture Continuum in the Prix Pictet. Photography and Culture. pp. 1-19. doi:10.1080/17514517.2021.1890919 (In Press)

[img] Text (Peer reviewed version)
9545_Peck_(2021)_In_a_World_fit_for_Humans.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 15 September 2022. (Publisher Embargo).
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0.

Download (1MB)


The Prix Pictet is a photography prize focussing on sustainability. Anthropocentric in its world-view, the prize was endorsed and supported by Kofi Annan, who until 2006 was the Secretary-General of the United Nations. This article argues three points. Firstly, that the Prix Pictet's model of sustainability is anthropocentric and produces a framework in which myriad inequalities in human relationships become representable. The prize as a symptom of the contradictions created through neoliberalism will be analysed, particularly as the prize celebrates the commodification of art whilst also enabling the articulation of concern about people and environment. This produces the second argument, where the prize is seen as symptomatic of a neoliberal economy that both offers opportunities for artists to express concern about social, economic and environmental inequalities, whilst also 'greenwashing' sustainable investments. Thirdly, I will argue that, photography's ambiguity occasionally escapes the anthropocentric framework, leading to other possible interpretations. The Prix Pictet, then, mainly represents a human-centric view, and this is reproduced at the expense of nature-human-technology frameworks. However, close readings of some of the shortlisted projects see eco-centric and posthuman sensibilities emerging.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Anthropocentrism; Posthumanism; Vital materialism; Greenwashing
Subjects: T Technology > TR Photography
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Arts > Photography
Research Priority Areas: Culture, Continuity, and Transformation
Creative Practice and Theory
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2021 09:12
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 22:21

University Staff: Request a correction | Repository Editors: Update this record

University Of Gloucestershire

Bookmark and Share

Find Us On Social Media:

Social Media Icons Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Pinterest Linkedin

Other University Web Sites

University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH. Telephone +44 (0)844 8010001.