Friday Focus: What role can visual art play in today’s climate change debate?

As climate change transcended the boundaries of science and environmentalism and became a major political, economic and social concern over the last decade, the number of artists addressing the issue has increased. We explore how visual art can help broaden the public conversation and create a new pathway to understanding this critical issue.

French photographer Guillaume Bression will talk about the “Fukushima – No Go Zone” project, Polish photographer Kacper Kowalski will talk about his projects “Side Effects” and “Over” and Mandy Barker will talk about her project “Beyond Drifting: Imper- fectly Known Animals”, which draws attention to plastic pollution in the environment. The presentations are followed by a panel discussion. Moderator: Shora Esmailian. In English. Landskrona Theater.

About Mandy Barker:

Mandy Barker is an international award winning photographer whose work involving marine plastic debris has received global recognition. The motivation for her work is to raise awareness about plastic pollution in the world’s oceans whilst highlighting the harmful affect on marine life and ultimately ourselves.

Kacper Kowalski 

Born in 1977, Kacper Kowalski is a graduate of the Technical University of Gdańsk, where he studied architecture. After having worked in architecture for four years, he devoted himself entirely to flying and photography. Both as a pilot and a photographer, he takes aerial pictures of natural and urban environments of his native Poland.

He has received numerous awards, including the World Press Photo award (2009, 2014, 2015), the Picture of the Year International POYi award (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), and many others.

He is represented by the Panos Pictures agency for editorials. His first photography book, Side Effects, was published in early 2014. Photographs from this project are shown all over the world. He lives and works in Gdynia, Poland. 

 

Carlos Ayesta och Guillaume Bression – Fukushima – No Go Zone 

Ayesta and Bression rushed to Fukushima after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. To see for themselves. To bear witness. They photographed not to testify but of necessity, because they could not believe their eyes, and that — the unbelievable magnitude of the devastation — turned their amazement into a project.

The fruits of their numerous visits are six series of strongly aesthetic photographs which mix posed situations with a documentary approach. Offbeat photos, which stimulate thought at the consequences of a nuclear accident on such a scale. There are black bags piled up on five floors until the eyes can’t reach the end. The geometric endlessness of the “As far as the eye can see” visualizes the organized and methodical nature of the decontamination project in Fukushima, as well as its excessiveness.

This “great cleaning” project of radioactivity, of an unprecedented scale, will eventually generate 25 million cubic metres of nuclear waste, equivalent to 10,000 Olympic pools full of contaminated branches, leaves and soil. The decontamination, supposed to give back Fukushima’s lands their virginity, ends up visually polluting the region’s landscape. The black bags, like ominous birds, bring back the memory of the nuclear accident and jeopardizes the population’s potential return.

Guillaume Bression was born in Paris in 1980, and moved to Tokyo in 2010. Trained as a scientist, he works as a photographer and freelances as head camera operator. He covers Japan, Korea and the Philippines for various daily newspapers, magazines and television stations. Bression is a member of the Hans Lucas studio.

 

Moderator Shora Esmailian

Shora Esmailian arbetar som journalist och är medförfattare till böckerna Iran on the Brink (2007, Pluto Press) och Sprängkraft i Iran (2005, Federativs förlag). Båda böckerna är skrivna tillsammans med Andreas Malm. Sedan 2004 arbetar hon som journalist och skriver mestadels om Iran, Mellanöstern, feminism och genusfrågor, rasism, migration, arbetsmarknad och klimat. Hon har bland annat arbetat som redaktionssekreterare på tidningen Arbetaren, redaktör på tidskriften Re:public och chefredaktör på Stockholms universitets studentkårstidning Gaudeamus. Foto; Peter Frennesson