Courtesy of Guy Reece
The existential risk of our century, and we are running out of time.
To support action in addressing climate change creatively, this year’s award supports photographers making work in this area.
Venice is vanishing inch by inch. Beijing is barely visible through the smog. Ice receding, penguins and walruses search for anywhere to rest. “Ghost forests” of coastal trees are choked to death by salt-water. Islands of plastic garbage accumulate in oceans. Fires in California rage for days and destroy entire towns. Drought in Africa sparks wars – which send families fleeing to other continents - where they meet with hostility stoked by fear and political extremism.
Slowed down by politics and greed, our leaders and institutions make little progress in saving the planet. Our own heedless lifestyles contribute to the degradation of our land, oceans, and atmosphere.
"We Have Not Come Here to Beg World Leaders to Care", 15-Year-Old Greta Thunberg tells. "We Have Come to Let Them Know Change Is Coming". "We can no longer save the world by playing by the rules", says Greta Thunberg, "because the rules have to be changed".
Courtesy of Danial Khodaie
But great photographers are still at work, capturing beauty under threat, and drawing attention to the ravages of global warming. In his poignant series Five Degrees, Italian photojournalist, Federico Borella, shows us how drought has led to an epidemic of suicide among Indian farmers in Tamil Nadu.
The Israeli-born English photographer, Nadav Kander, traveled the length of the Yangtze River to see how the relentless pace of industrialization has changed life in China. His photos document how the world’s third-longest river has become unfit for marine life and drinking water - and for poetry and meditation.
Dismayed by the devastation of coral reefs, Spanish artist Ana Maria Guerra combines corals – dead corals - with photography, photogrammetry, 3D printing and 3D animation. Her witty Future Fossils are sculptures enshrining the dead corals in colorful technological coffins.
The great Sebastiao Salgado – portrayed in the Wim Wenders’ film, Salt of the Earth - has documented the devastation which greed and deforestation have brought to his native Brazil. In his book Genesis, however, his photos show what nature and mankind look like when they live in harmony – as they do in the jungles of Indonesia and the pastures of Siberia.
The Climate Change theme is dedicated
to Professor Chris Wainwright (1955 - 2017) was Pro Vice-Chancellor of University of the Arts London (2007 to 2016) and one of the founding members of the BarTur Award in 2011. Chris’ artistic practice encompassed photography, performance and installation to address pressing issues of climate change and he often worked with various institutions on research and artistic practice that explored how these environmental issues could be addressed worldwide.