Visualizing the Climate Crisis:
Virtual Water

This is the second talk of a new series, Visualizing the Climate Crisis, which explores the potential and the role that contemporary photography, together with different disciplines, can have in addressing the multi-layered theme of climate change. The series will feature visual journalists doing evidence-based, research-informed, image-led reporting on climate issues. They will be in conversation with other professionals representing a diverse range of disciplines, such as science, policy-making, education, architecture, social innovation, media, and more, trying to explore the possibility of thinking beyond photography in a genuinely trans-disciplinary approach to expand reach, involve the wider public, and move people from being inspired to taking action. 

This event features Uwe H. Martin (Slow Visual Journalist) and Francesca Greco (PhD in Water and Food Politics), in conversation with Maria Teresa Salvati (Founder and Director of Everything is Connected), moderated by Paul Lowe (Reader in Documentary Photography at UAL, London).

Tomatoes are harvested near Mendota. These tomatoes are destined for canned tomatoes, tomato sauces and ketchup. Harvesting is done almost fully automatically and the machine sorts green tomatoes and scrub automatically. Three Latino women on each side of the machine sort out rotten or damaged tomatoes by hand.

Ph. Credit Uwe H. Martin

What is Virtual Water?

Virtual water–also known as embodied or hidden water–is a term coined by John Anthony Allan in 1993. The concept refers to the quantity of freshwater used in the products, services, and processes people buy and use daily. Virtual water often goes unseen by the end-user of a product or service, but that water has been consumed throughout the value chain, which makes the creation of that product or service possible. The concept of virtual water trade was introduced to refer to the idea that countries can save domestic water by importing food.

How can ‘virtual water’ be visualized? Can visual storytellers and scientists collaborate to communicate the whole story to the wide public? How could we make people aware of their eating and buying habits, be conscious of their choices, and eventually reduce their footprint on the planet?

This series is organized by Everything is Connected; UAL, University of the Arts London; and VII Insider.

Through the eyes of children

Education – Public Space – Social Innovation – Visual Art

Do we live on or are we part of a planet? - Frederic Hanusch

Education – Science

Planetary Health and Visual Culture - David Cross

Education – Science – Visual Art

The need for a Xenourbanism - Rossella Ferorelli

Education – Public Space – Science

Secret Sarayaku - Misha Vallejo

Education – Social Innovation – Visual Art

Photography and the climate emergency - Symposium III

Education – Science – Visual Art

Empathy and Connection in Environmental Storytelling

Education – Science – Visual Art

Beyond photographic limits - L. Fritz Magazine

Mass Media – Visual Art

Alternative Aesthetics in Environmental Storytelling

Education – Science – Visual Art

How to make the invisible, visible? AIR by Marina Vitaglione

Science – Visual Art

Towards Trans-disciplinarity

Education – Public Space – Science – Visual Art

How photography can address climate crisis as a social justice issue

Education – Mass Media – Visual Art

Contemporary Photography
and Public Engagement

Education – Public Space – Science – Social Innovation – Visual Art

Visualizing the Climate Crisis:
Ocean acidification

Science – Visual Art

Visualizing the Climate Crisis:
the Fashion System

Education – Mass Media – Visual Art