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Mathieu Asselin

(*1973, F)

Monsanto®: A Photographic Investigation

For his multiple award-winning book project Monsanto®: A Photographic Investigation, the Franco-Venezuelan photographer Mathieu Asselin intensively confronted the scandalous story of the company which was taken over by Bayer AG in 2018. Already in 2012, before the flood of lawsuits against the company arose, Asselin begins his extensive research in Vietnam, Cambodia and the United States. For five years he visited victims and relatives, studied archive material and court files. The results of his examinations revealed not only the long-standing ignorance of the company’s proclaimed advanced biotechnology, but also the criminal intrigues of the concern at the cost of independent small and big farmers in order to maintain their monopoly. For Asselin it was absolutely essential to steer the public view to these crimes. The images, regardless of genre - landscape, portrait, still life or facsimile - leave the viewer with anger or incomprehension. Through the targeted comparison with advertisements of the agrarian company or the cross-reference to the tobacco industry, Asselin points out not only their inhuman callousness but positions himself as artist and activist.