« 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment