Photographer Michael Schmidt wins Prix Pictet

Michael Schmidt's Lebensmittel at Prix Pictet at the V&A Lebensmittel explores the processes of the European food system

Photographer Michael Schmidt's work Lebensmittel has won the 100,000 Swiss Franc (£66,800) Prix Pictet.

The photography prize was presented by honorary president Kofi Annan at a reception at the V&A museum in London.

Judges said Schmidt's work, translated as "food stuff", was "an epic and hugely topical investigation into the ways in which we feed ourselves".

His project and the work of the 10 other shortlisted finalists will be on display at the museum from 22 May.

Mr Annan said "the shortlisted artists have made powerful images that ought to persuade governments, businesses - and each of us as individual consumers - of the need for a fundamental rethink of the principles on which present-day affluence is founded".

The prize, founded in 2008 by the Pictet Group in Switzerland, awards photographers' contributions to the ongoing debate on social and environmental challenges.

Sir David King, chairman of the judges, said: "We were privileged to review work by 11 truly outstanding photographers.

"There were many potential winners but, after much debate, we finally agreed to award the Prix Pictet to Michael Schmidt whose Lebensmittel is an epic and hugely topical investigation into the ways in which we feed ourselves."

Schmidt, 69, was born in Berlin and continues to works in Germany.

Lebensmittel is a book that explores the processes of the European food system, from the farm to the table in a series of images with no accompanying text.

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