Interesting article "Masters of Sustainability"

I found this interesting article in the free newspapers "Epoch weekend by Epoch Times" from November 4-10 2016 (Issue 19), about the growing interest millennials have for studies related to sustainability.


« Where will we go? The human consequences of rising sea levels » by photographer Kadir Van Lohuizen

Should art be understandable to everyone? Should an artist explain his/her work? These are questions I often ask myself, especially when I go to a modern art museum, and most of the time do not really « get it » while looking at an art piece. What is it? What does it represent? What is the artist trying to express? What should I be feeling? 
But sometimes art is so clear you do not have to ask yourself all these questions. The exhibition « Where will we go? The human consequences of rising sea levels » by photographer Kadir Van Lohuizen is one of those. 

I was taking a walk in DUMBO, Brooklyn, when I stumbled on this series of maybe around 20 photographies (I am not 100% sure) of photographies displayed on a fence under the Brooklyn Bridge. For two years Kadir Van Lohuizen « {looked} at the global consequences of rising sea levels caused by climate change ». He explains « In my reportage, I have tried to provide globally balanced coverage of how climate change is already affecting places where people live. I have traveled to Kiribati, Fiji, the Carteret Atoll in Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh, the Guna Yala coastline in Panama, the United Kingdom and the United States. In these different regions, I not only looked at the areas that are affected or will be affected but also where people will likely have to relocate to. I photographed and interviewed families who still live in affected areas and others who have already moved to safer ground. » The project Where Will We Go, is designed to highlight both the immense complexities associated with in-island and inter-island/country movement and the human rights implications involved in such displacements.

« As people in all o the world’s regions become displaced at ever growing scales, the biggest question is: where will they go? »

In the very interesting exhibition’s introduction the artist state some scary facts: « In Bangladesh, it is likely that up to 50 million people will have to move from the delta region by 2050, and for right now, nobody knows where they will go. Although often ignored by climate change campaigners, the rate of sea level rise on America’s East Coast is three times faster that the global average, due to the fact that western Greenland’s glaciers and ice are melting so quickly. Protecting cities on the eastern seaboard will require enormous financial resources. Miami is likely to be lost {…} it’s expected that the Miami Beach and bay will need to be evacuated by 2060 ». The artist also stresses something most of us do not think of: « What is often forgotten about is the fact that even before the land becomes permanently flooded, the sea water intrudes earlier at high tides - thus making drinking water brackish and undrinkable and once fertile land no longer viable for crops. ». If you are looking for a fierce reality check, this exhibition is surely something you will find interesting. It is simply put, efficiently explained with concrete facts and heart-breaking pictures. Everyone can understand what is going on and feel for the persons losing their livelihood, their houses, an important part of their lives. This is putting the reality of our daily choices in front of us and showing us what the real impact is. 

This exhibition is echoing the new released documentary « Before the Flood » by Leonardo DiCaprio & Fisher Stevens, that also present the very real consequences of global warming, try to take us out of our semi-dream reality to urge us to take concrete action like NOW. Just in time for COP22.
The documentary is available for free on internet http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4yfbbt. It really is « putting your money (or in this case your lack of trying to make money) where your mouth is ». So cool.


Today I feel sick

It is raining in NYC today. This is a really crappy day. A day of horror I could even say. 
Trump president of the United State. That happened. I never really believed he would win.I am not sure if it was because I truly thought he could not win, or because I just did not want to think about the possibility he could. 
I am not American, and yet this election and its result will have an impact on me. Because today I lost a little bit of my faith in Humanity and us, people. 
I just cannot understand we live in a world where such a man can become president of one of the most powerful countries in the world. During his campaign, and way before actually, he has insulted women, gay people, LGBT community, black people, latino people, disabled people… I truly feel sad for all the people from the minorities he had shown no respect to, but I think as a woman I feel even sadder a man that said such awful things, who basically say it is okay for men to attack, harass and rape women is not held accountable, and even in a way encouraged to continue. I feel sick. 
I am not American so I feel like I cannot really blame people who voted for Trump, they must have had their reasons. Whatever that could be. But a part of me just cannot understand how, especially a woman, could vote Trump. I really cannot. 
I know this election was not a real choice. It was a choice between bad and worst. Like any election. How many elections like this we had in France. And the next one will probably be exactly like that too. « Bad or worst ». This is what politics has become. Or maybe how it always was, except now we have access to more information. I really feel sick whenever I think about politics. I could cry, I want to scream, I get so angry so I prefer to stop thinking about it. Politicians and elections make me feel helpless as if the basic right of choosing my government was taken away from me. This is not a democracy when the only choices you have are not real ones. And I think that is what a lot of American thought when they went to vote. What a lot of French will probably feel in a few months. 

These were a lot of talks about voting for Hillary because she is a woman (and a lot of hashtags stressing that she is a woman #imwithher etc.). I get this is a thin argument. But I think what was not really well explained was that the decision was not entirely based on that fact. If we look at French politicians, I would NEVER vote for Marine Le Pen for the simple reason that she is a woman and that it would be nice to have a woman president. Marine Le Pen has the worst stand I could imagine on about everything, woman or not my vote will never go to her. But Hillary Clinton had some really good ideas, some good points, made some good speeches. So yes, of course, she is still a politics, she is not perfect and she would probably have made mistakes or not did what she said she would do during her campaign (exactly like Obama and every other politician). But choosing her, in part because of her ideas and in part because she is a woman, was a pretty good deal, at least I think it would have been. A woman President of the United States, what a powerful message that would have been. To every little girl, to every woman, and to every man on the planet. That would have been as epic as President Obama’s election. Yesterday America could have made a great step forward, but instead choose the rich, racist, misogynist, narrow-minded man. I really feel sick. 

Only one thing is keeping me from crying, and that is the idea that politics is shit, and cannot do a lot for us. We should stop waiting for a « Messiah » who will never come. We need to remember the power is in our hands. It has always been but we let politics and industries make up believe they had it. And somehow, this is true, in making us believe they had all the power, they gained some real power. But what need to be remembered is that we can take that power back anytime we want. Politicians, industries, they want to make us believe they are leaders, but they are not! They are followers! Followers of the People, followers of the customer. If we come together and, for example, buy only organic, industries will have no choice but to make only organics in order to survive. And politicians will have no choice but to make laws and regulations in order to protect and promote organically produced products. I know this is a bit of a stretch, but the core idea is here: we can make real changes if only we start to DO something instead of waiting for someone to do it for us. Because that will never happen. 
And the most beautiful part of this idea is that it can become a reality so much faster that we dream to believe. 
I feel good again. 

"To all the little girls watching...never doubt that you are valuable and powerful & deserving of every chance & opportunity in the world." Hillary Clinton


Interconnected difficulties

Someone reading this blog might wonder why I was talking about ethical and sustainable fashion in the blog’s introduction, and then went on to two posts about travel. The answer is simple: because it made sense to me. This trip to Niagara Falls was to celebrate my birthday, and I thought about a lot of things during this trip, and one that came back again and again was that I had to do something, I had to raise my voice. I thought about a blog, and here I am. It was important to me to « open » this blog with the trip that made me start it. 
Now, a more serious post:

Since I became aware of the human impact on the environment I looked for ways to change it, asking myself this simple question: what can I do about it?


Niagara-on-the-lake - Day 2

Once I did all the activities from the adventure pass, I realized I had nothing planned for the next day, and not a lot to do left around the Falls, when I saw the WeGo bus also offered a shuttle bus to Niagara-on-the-lake. No idea what and where it was, a quick google search informed me it was a town north of the Falls with a lovely historic old town. That was the perfect place to go until my return-bus!