A Photographic Investigation
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For Monsanto: A Photographic Investigation, the Franco- Venezuelan photographer Mathieu Asselin was awarded the Aperture Foundation First Book Award in 2017 among others. more
Beyond the distinguished editorial object, this recognition enshrines an exceptional documentary process conducted for five years through Vietnam and the United States, which portrays an overwhelming portrait of the ancient and current practices of this giant chemical industry. In order to construct his meticulous investigation, Mathieu Asselin exhumed and consulted hundreds of documents – press excerpts, judgments, archives, films, and testimonies – focusing on facts or dates that dramatically illustrate the ravages of all kinds which mark the company’s long history of sprawling development. Thus, the drama of the small town of Aniston (Alabama, 1970), that became a ghost city as a result of releases into the air and water of the infamous and poisonous chlorinated PCB derivatives produced by the local factory. Thus, the terrifying Agent Orange – another Monsanto product – an acid-based herbicide and defoliant which the US military will detonate on the plains of Vietnam from 1968 to 1971, permanently contaminating up to ten percent of its territory and causing thousands of victims.