Philippe Dudouit
Born 1977, Switzerland.
Lives and works in Lausanne.

Philippe Dudouit graduated from Vevey School of Photography. He has been recipient of a Kiefer Hablitzel Prize in 2004 and participated in the World Press Photo Master Class in 2005. In 2008, he won a first prize in the World Press Photo competition for his work on the PKK fighters in Northern Iraq and in 2009 a third prize on the Tuareg rebellions in Mali and Niger. In 2011 his work in progress received a Swiss Design Award and in 2013 he was a Magnum Emergency Fund grantee.


Philippe Dudouit’s work is founded on in depth historic, geopolitical and cartographic documentation, research and analysis, making the presented project a long term photographic study on the socio-political evolution of the Sahelo-Saharian zone since 2008.

Dudouit documents the new relationships that historically nomadic autochthonous Saharan inhabitants of the Sahelo Saharan band have forged with a territory they cannot pass through freely, or safely, anymore. Being a former tourist paradise now off limits to foreigners, due to a burgeoning abduction industry, made the former dire economic situation even worse, cutting off large parts of the population from an income essential to them.

At first glance, the rise of Islamic terrorism in this area is blamed, but a closer look reveals a reality that is much more complex and the area now faces a dangerous cocktail of underdevelopment, poverty and state failure.  The new constellation consists of armed islamists, human traffickers, drugs and weapons smugglers topped off by international interests jockeying to win oil, gold and uranium mining rights.  The lack of political vision for the area's future make up for a scenario in which a doomed generation is growing up.

Dudouit's practice embodies hybridity, in the fusion of classic analogue large format camera technique and the use of digital technologies, but also by combining innovative documentary photography sensibility with the tableau-type composition of his environmental portraits.

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