It is with great delight following an award event at London’s Nobu Hotel Portman Square that we can announce the winner of the Louis Roederer Photography Prize for Sustainability’s second edition. The theme this year is ‘Flow’ that represents circulation and exchange, and in our context, the constant dynamic between nature and people and illustrates the tension existing between them.
The submitted works were judged by an internationally renowned panel of judges comprising Alan Lo, Audrey Bazin, Azu Nwagbogu, Brandei Estes, Darius Sanai, Maria Sukkar, Maryam Eisler, Nadja Swarovski and Sophie Neuendorf.
Many congratulations to the winning photographer, M’Hammed Kilito for his captivating series entitled ‘Before Its Gone’. His series is an ongoing long-term project that documents life in oases with a focus on the complex and multidimensional issues of oasis degradation in Morocco and its impact on their inhabitants. Over the past few years, he has visited many oases, where he has made strong connections with their inhabitants. He was able to understand this rich environment whose water is the vital element in the genesis of oases and their biodiversity, but also its glaring realities: desertification, recurrent droughts and fires, changes in agricultural practices, overexploitation of natural resources, rural exodus, and the sharp drop in the water table are all imminent threats to the existence of oases.
M’Hammed Kilito is a documentary photographer and a National Geographic explorer based in Casablanca, Morocco. His practice focuses on the relationship between groups or individuals and their environments. His works capture narratives that facilitate an understanding of this relationship, covering issues related to cultural identity, the sociology of work, and climate change.
Darius Sanai, chair of the panel of judges, commented: “Humans lived in a sustainable way for centuries before the industrial revolution, and the ancient oases of North Africa are a testament to this. M’Hammed Kilito’s works tell the story of the beauty, history, and perilous present of these oases, binding together human imperatives, a stark highly artistic documentary photographic style, and a commentary on the damage we are causing, all in the context of this year’s theme of Flow. He is a very worthy winner in a very strong field.”
Frédéric Rouzaud, CEO of Champagne Louis Roederer and the President of the Louis Roederer Foundation awarded M’Hammed Kilito with the first prize and he will receive £7,500 to continue funding his projects.
The two runners up are Hengki Koentjoro and Yasuhiro Ogaya who were also highly praised by the judges for their interpretations of the theme.
A selection of the works of the three finalists are currently being exhibited at The White Box, Nobu Hotel Portman Square until the 31st May 2023.
Photo credit to Vladimir Gheorghiu
To see his winning photographs click here