SNAPSHOTS: Project X
How can a photographer capture climate change in ways that are not
obvious—for example, with pictures of melting glaciers and polluted
rivers—so that audiences are challenged to change their preconceptions,
and consider the implications of climate change on the larger world?
Rather than answer that enormous question by himself, photographer
James Whitlow Delano founded @everydayclimatechange, a
collaborative Instagram feed to which nearly 40 photographers on six
continents currently post photographs. Delano, an American reportage
photographer based in Tokyo, first came up with the idea for the feed
after meeting documentary photographer Peter DiCampo, co-founder
of Everyday Africa, at a photo festival in Brittany, France. Since 2012, the
Everyday project has grown to include over 45 Instagram feeds with a
collective audience of over one million users.
DiCampo readily supported adding Everyday Climate Change
under the umbrella of Everyday projects, and Delano began recruiting
photographers to contribute. Specifically, he looked for photographers
whose work was commenting in a non-generic way about climate change,
and who were based on the continents that they were capturing.
What resulted was a kaleidoscopic view of people and animals as
they move through a changing environment. A recent image of silver
fish in the Maldives by Jody MacDonald was followed, for example,
with an image of women in Malawi planting disease- and drought-
resistant seeds by Georgina Goodwin.
More than 107,000 people currently follow @everydayclimatechange,
which updates at least a few times a week. Delano, who doesn’t curate
the feed, likes that it meanders. What binds the contributors together,
he says, is a burning desire to speak truth to power.
Although they are not paid for contributing, photographers have the
chance to participate in exhibitions. So far, there have been six Everyday
Climate Change exhibitions of work in Italy, Malaysia, Switzerland, South
Africa, Ukraine and the United States.
Delano is always looking to add new photographers to the roster
of contributors—in particular, he’d love to feature the work of
photographers who were born and raised in Africa. For students
who have environmental aspirations, start now, he suggests. “Start
documenting life around you,” he says. “The greenery or the lack of it.
Share on Instagram, or with your teachers.”
Despite the current political environment surrounding climate
change, Delano has hope that things will change for the better. “Nothing
lasts forever, so we have to make our voices heard.”
THIS PAGE: Photographer
Franck Vogel of
captures the receding
Colorado River water line.
A Travelogue with Purpose
Photographers provide new perspectives on @everydayclimatechange.
by BRIENNE WALSH