Bio

Pierre-Michel-VirotUnless you look for something, you cannot see it” Osho Rajneesh, Poona, India.

Geneva native Pierre-Michel Virot has traveled the globe as a photographer with several UN specialized agencies and governments for over a decade.
He has done assignment work and has been published in numerous national and international publications including The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, Entrevue, The Financial Times, Yomiuri Shimbun, Diva, Africa International, UN Special and The Lancet. His career with UN agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) resulted in enhancing stories, many publications and exhibitions, as well as several television features, at headquarters, regional and country levels. He has been published also jointly with Sebastião Salgado at WHO.

Pierre’s vision is to use photography to help create leverage for conservation efforts and, above all, to disseminate high quality images as a major tool for educational purposes in the Southern countries. He follows with great interest the evolution of the Broad Band Commission at ITU, (co-chaired by Rwanda President Paul Kagame and Mexican business magnate and philanthropist Mr Carlos Slim Helù).

Pierre, with several of his friends, has initiated the World Healthy Image Bank, (WHIB), a prime quality stock photography project which received support from UNESCO, ITU and the former Swiss President and Federal Councillor Mr Adolf Ogi.

Pierre’s training in photography began when he was drafted into the photographic department of Le Matin, a major Swiss daily, where he worked for four  years. Some of his best memories from this time “are all those famous singers and rock stars” he met and discussed with. He also participated in long term international reporting with TF1 (a major French TV channel) and “52 sur la Une” concerning child-trafficking. His pictures were displayed in the generic of the emission for several years after.
A former commercial helicopter pilot and flight instructor, Pierre lived in the United States, Japan and India. He currently lives in Geneva, Switzerland and France with his partner and their two kids.

Awards and permanent exhibitions:

Permanent exhibition at UNAIDS Head Quarter in Geneva, Switzerland.

Several fine art prints are exhibited at the Musée Riattu in Arles, France (Les Rencontres de la Photographie).

Various exhibitions in Geneva, Zug and Zurich of a black and white collection called “Nu Noir” following the nomination of two images at the 4th Swiss Professional Award 1999, as well as in 2011 an exhibition on transgender living in Pakistan.

2014: “Wonders of Ethiopia” at the Mezzanine E-Building at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. A cultural exhibition displaying the diversity of Ethiopia and organized by the Government of Ethiopia.

2015: “The United Nations Through their Lens” On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, the exhibition has been on display at the Salle des Pas Perdus at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The same exhibition has been displayed at the Federal Palace of Switzerland where the Swiss Federal Assembly and the Federal Council are housed.

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