How photography can address climate crisis as a social justice issue

This is the fifth talk of a series called “Visualizing the Environmental Emergency”, a research project curated by Maria Teresa Salvati, around the multi-faceted visualization of the climate crisis that tries to shed light on how this type of communication should and could change to inspire people towards action. 

Talk #5 – HOW PHOTOGRAPHY CAN ADDRESS CLIMATE CRISIS AS A SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUE 

This talk is curated by Maria Teresa Salvati, with guest speakers Abdel Mandili, founder of the People’s Planet Project; moderated by Dr. Paul Lowe.

We need to redefine the climate crisis as a social justice issue.

The rapid decline of our environment is a site for multiple intersections of injustice, making the climate crisis a human rights issue of critical and increasing importance. The impacts of climate change are not – and will not – be borne equally or fairly between rich and poor, women and men, and older and younger generations.

Ph. Credit © Kamikia Kisedje / People’s Planet Project

Consequently, there is a growing need to focus on climate justice, which looks at the climate crisis through a human rights lens.  We need to be motivated by the belief that we can create a better future for present and future generations by working together.

In this series of events, we have been questioning whether the visual representation of the environmental crisis over the last few years has focused too much on faraway places, trying to shock, showing communities that feel distant and unconnected.

The question now is whether we need to change this perspective. This change could be done by creating new visuals about the types of stories depicted or by adding the gaze of those who narrate important accounts, especially those directly involved in a context of injustice.

Could these more unfiltered views help make connections that enable the viewing public to think and shift understanding?

This event is curated by Everything is Connected and supported by the Photography and the Archive Research Centre, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. The event was hosted, and the video produced by VII Insider.

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