VIENNA, 17 May 2007 (UNODC) - Alessandro Scotti, Italian photojournalist and Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, has been awarded the prestigious Henri Nannen Prize for his "Weltmacht Drogen" (Drugs, the global power) feature published in the German magazine GEO.
The prize is awarded annually by Gruner + Jahr, publishers of Stern magazine. Scotti's powerful black and white images, which won the award in the Best Photographic Achievement section, chronicle the battle against the narcotics industry in Iran, Afghanistan, Latin America and Central Asia.
In its citation, the jury said that in documenting the drugs trade for more than five years, Scotti had succeeded in bringing his reportage vividly to life. "The photographer gets so close to the action that the viewer can sense the great demands his reporting is making on him".
Scotti was one of 10 prizewinners selected from 863 submissions from 188 German-language publications.
Alessandro Scotti has worked as a professional photographer and writer for 10 years. Since 2005, he has travelled extensively in Afghanistan, Colombia, Iran, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand to represent UNODC.
He is presently completing a trilogy of books for UNODC documenting the global drugs trade. Entitled De Narcoticis, the series explores all aspects of the narcotics trade, including cultivation, trafficking, prevention and addiction. Scotti's haunting images help the public to understand the complexity of the drug problem.
"Scotti's talent has transformed the tragic plight of a few into a global campaign against narco-trafficking," UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa said. "He shows us the face of addiction, exploitation, and physical suffering, and challenges us to respond. And once you really look at these photographs, there is no other choice. His work contains a powerful message of compassion."
Samples of Scotti's work can be viewed at http://www.denarcoticis.info
For details of the Henri Nannen Prize (in German), see http://www.henri-nannen-preis.de/presse_2007.php?id=36