Photographing Climate Change in the Peruvian Andes
The Earth is undergoing dramatic climate changes due to human activities that are warming the planet. This is the most important environmental crisis that humans have faced. High mountain glaciers and their surrounding ecosystems are key indicators of the effects of global warming. I will travel to the Llanganuco Valley and nearby Andean glaciers in Peru with the scientist, Dr. Bryan Mark of Ohio State University, a team of his international scientific colleagues, and a group of his graduate students who will research the impact of climate change on the environment. I will attend a workshop with the graduate students to learn about the impact of climate change in this region. I will create photomontages that explore the impact of climate change on the glaciers, the ecosystem, and the local communities to be exhibited in Peru and the U.S.A. In order to make the photomontages, I will photograph the research activities, the local community, the landscapes, and the flora and fauna. The significance of my project is that the photomontages will increase Peruvians’ understanding about the impact of glacial recession on their environment and inspire North Americans to recognize the disproportionate impact of climate change on developing nations. The exhibitions of my project will encourage North Americans to reduce their carbon footprint. This project will be significant for my artistic practice because I wish to focus my artwork on the subject of climate change in order to educate viewers about its effects and how they can help to reverse it. This will be the first of many projects that explore climate change and my first project where I will learn about the impacts of climate change directly from respected scientists. I look forward to being creatively inspired by the field research. Last but not least, I plan to forge new relationships with the scientists on the team who conduct climate research in other parts of the world. I hope that building these relationships will lead to future collaborative projects.
George, Ivana (2009). Photographing Climate Change in the Peruvian Andes. CARS Small Grants. Item 24.