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Dutch photojournalist documents climate change

Kadir van Lohuizen captures the consequences of rising sea levels

  • A resident in Tebike Nikoora watches the high tide coming into her house. Tebike Nikoora (Golden beach) is a rImage Credit: Kadir van Lohuizen/NOOR
  • A mother and her daughter at Bainpara, their former village. Some houses remain, most were swallowed by cyclonImage Credit: Kadir van Lohuizen/NOOR
Gulf News

Award-winning Dutch photojournalist Kadir van Lohuizen’s first exhibition in the UAE, Where Will We Go? examines the global consequences of rising sea levels caused by climate change. The show features selected photographs from a three-year long project that took the artist to Arctic glaciers, remote islands in the Pacific Ocean and coastal cities across the world to document the impact of rising sea levels on the lives of people. The show is being held at the Eco-Villa in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, which is a prototype of a sustainable villa, and has been jointly organised by the Netherlands Embassy in the UAE and Masdar with support from the Noor Foundation, the UN Environment Programme and the human rights group Displacement Solutions.

Van Lohuizen is based in Amsterdam but he travels around the world using his camera to create awareness about various contemporary issues. He has covered conflicts in Angola, Sierra Leone, Mozambique and other African countries, travelled to North Korea and Mongolia, and worked on long term projects such as the seven rivers of the world, the diamond industry, and migrations in the Americas. For this project he looked at places that are already affected or are likely to be affected by rising sea levels and places where affected people can move to. He talked to families who continue to stay in flooded villages and those who have moved to safer ground, and studied the inadequate official strategies for dealing with the problem.

His photographs vividly depict different facets of the problem such as melting glaciers in the Arctic, flooded fields and villages in Fiji and Kiribati, people in Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea and Panama who have lost their homes to the sea and are forced to migrate, and major seaside cities in the US and UK that are threatened with the same fate. The images highlight the immense complexities associated with human movements within islands and between different islands and countries as well as the human rights implications of such displacements.

The centerpiece of the show is a multiple screen audio-visual presentation that combines photography, film, sound and text to ask questions that we all need to contemplate, and to convey a warning that we must all heed. “While researching and working on this project, I was shocked to realise how urgent the situation already is. In countries like Bangladesh there are already millions of climate refugees, and though it seems hard to believe even a city like Miami will be partly under water by 2060. In Skipsea in the UK a coastal road has disappeared under the sea, and the Guna Yala islands in Panama could be underwater in less than thirty years displacing 30,000 indigenous people. One has to ask where all these people will go. But the fact is that nobody is exempt from the threat of rising sea levels, so the question really is where will we go?” van Lohuizen asks.

The venue of the show is significant because Masdar City is one of the world’s most sustainable developments that is pushing the boundaries of innovation in environmental, economic and social sustainability. “We are excited to host an impactful show at our Eco Villa, which brings such a significant issue to light through art,” Yousef Baselaib, Executive Director for Sustainable Real Estate at Masdar says.

H.E. Mr. Frank Mollen, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UAE adds, “This work emphasizes global concerns that can no longer be ignored. For centuries our country has been well aware of the challenges posed by rising water levels. I hope this exhibition will contribute to a better general understanding of the issues involved, and how to combat them. Dutch expertise will play a role in the mitigation of these global challenges, but a concerted effort from all of us will be needed to achieve lasting results.”

“Where Will We Go?” will run at the Eco-Villa in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi until February 16.

 

Kadir van Lohuizen captures the consequences of rising sea levels caused by climate change

Award-winning Dutch photojournalist Kadir van Lohuizen’s first exhibition in the UAE, Where Will We Go? examines the global consequences of rising sea levels caused by climate change. The show features selected photographs from a three-year long project that took the artist to Arctic glaciers, remote islands in the Pacific Ocean and coastal cities across the world to document the impact of rising sea levels on the lives of people. The show is being held at the Eco-Villa in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, which is a prototype of a sustainable villa, and has been jointly organised by the Netherlands Embassy in the UAE and Masdar with support from the Noor Foundation, the UN Environment Programme and the human rights group Displacement Solutions.

Van Lohuizen is based in Amsterdam but he travels around the world using his camera to create awareness about various contemporary issues. He has covered conflicts in Angola, Sierra Leone, Mozambique and other African countries, travelled to North Korea and Mongolia, and worked on long term projects such as the seven rivers of the world, the diamond industry, and migrations in the Americas. For this project he looked at places that are already affected or are likely to be affected by rising sea levels and places where affected people can move to. He talked to families who continue to stay in flooded villages and those who have moved to safer ground, and studied the inadequate official strategies for dealing with the problem.

His photographs vividly depict different facets of the problem such as melting glaciers in the Arctic, flooded fields and villages in Fiji and Kiribati, people in Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea and Panama who have lost their homes to the sea and are forced to migrate, and major seaside cities in the US and UK that are threatened with the same fate. The images highlight the immense complexities associated with human movements within islands and between different islands and countries as well as the human rights implications of such displacements.

The centerpiece of the show is a multiple screen audio-visual presentation that combines photography, film, sound and text to ask questions that we all need to contemplate, and to convey a warning that we must all heed. “While researching and working on this project, I was shocked to realise how urgent the situation already is. In countries like Bangladesh there are already millions of climate refugees, and though it seems hard to believe even a city like Miami will be partly under water by 2060. In Skipsea in the UK a coastal road has disappeared under the sea, and the Guna Yala islands in Panama could be underwater in less than thirty years displacing 30,000 indigenous people. One has to ask where all these people will go. But the fact is that nobody is exempt from the threat of rising sea levels, so the question really is where will we go?” van Lohuizen asks.

The venue of the show is significant because Masdar City is one of the world’s most sustainable developments that is pushing the boundaries of innovation in environmental, economic and social sustainability. “We are excited to host an impactful show at our Eco Villa, which brings such a significant issue to light through art,” Yousef Baselaib, Executive Director for Sustainable Real Estate at Masdar says.

H.E. Mr. Frank Mollen, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UAE adds, “This work emphasizes global concerns that can no longer be ignored. For centuries our country has been well aware of the challenges posed by rising water levels. I hope this exhibition will contribute to a better general understanding of the issues involved, and how to combat them. Dutch expertise will play a role in the mitigation of these global challenges, but a concerted effort from all of us will be needed to achieve lasting results.”

“Where Will We Go?” will run at the Eco-Villa in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi until February 16.

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