(Round one has now closed)
The project is a free to enter photography competition which encourages the participation of amateur and professional photographers of any age from all over the world. The project showcases ways in which individuals, communities, organisations and governments across the world are successfully tackling climate change and environmental degradation. It runs alongside our professional photography commissions.
Three winners have been selected for the first round of FotoDocument Fringe by judges Mel Friend, Karoki Lewis and Nina Emett.
Neil Hall for “Fog catchers of the Atacama Desert”.
The Atacama Desert in Northern Chile is the driest place on earth. Parts contain no life at all and some areas have never had any rainfall. The harsh climate and demand for resources from mining means water is scarce. However, in recent years coastal fog has been shown to provide a sustainable water source. The fog, known as Camanchaca, is ‘caught’ by large nets in the desert. These fog catchers condense water from the sky and carry it through pipes for collection. In Chanaral a collective of fishermen have set up a series of nets for an aloe vera farm. The Universidad de Catolica, have a scientific site in Iquique. They have found that the water collected is more pure than any other form available. Furthermore, an accidental water spillage showed the desert contains seeds and with a little water will naturally grow a variety of plants. It is possible to transform the desert into gardens.
Ahikam Seri for “Power of the Desert Sun”.
The Arab village of Drijat, located in Israel’s southern Negev desert, had no basic infrastructure such as running water and electricity in 2004.
In 2005, the village was the world’s first town to be outfitted with a multipurpose solar electricity system, capable of providing power to the entire village. The village mosque is the only solar-powered one in the Middle East.
Drijat now stands as a symbol for both the will to reduce pollution and use sustainable energy resources and the ability to overcome obstacles in an innovative manner.
Cassandra Lishman for “Plas Helyg” (Willow Palace).
All my life I have loved this earth we live on, and living lightly and with respect has always been my intention. Here at Plas Helyg (Willow Palace in Welsh) I am living my dream. We have built three (of our eventual five) buildings here. Our buildings are all made with straw, earth, wood and lime. Natural pigments provide colour, the buildings are breathable and beautiful, simple and functional. I love the fact that because I built these structures, I therefore know how to repair them, and change them if I wish. I grow my own willow, weaving it into sculptures and baskets for sale. We grow as much of our own food as we possibly can. My children are totally ‘free-range’. We welcome people onto our land, sharing how we build our natural structures and showing them our way of life.
Over 80 photographs were submitted to Round One of FotoDocument Fringe and many have been selected to enter into our digital photography hub in April 2013. The on-line exhibition will consist of a grid of thumbnail images, showcasing exciting solutions to problems associated with climate change and environmental degradation from all over the world. Viewers will be able to search for photographs according to location, subject or participating group. Photographs will be credited to the photographer, captioned and geo-located. Web links will be included where possible.
Special thanks goes to Prix Pictet, Photoworks, Mark Power and Simon Roberts for providing beautiful prizes for the competition winners.
FotoDocument will launch further rounds of FotoDocument Fringe later in the year.
FotoDocument Fringe is in partnership with Photo Fringe.
Look here for information about FotoDocument Fringe Schools.