Earth Photo is an annual competition and exhibitions jointly developed by Forestry England, leading visual arts consultancy Parker Harris, and the Society with new partner, Land Rover, who have joined this year.
Cambodia Burning (2020)
Sean Gallagher is a British photojournalist and filmmaker whose work focuses on highlighting issues related to the climate crisis and other global environmental problems. The project, entitled Cambodia Burning, was made in early 2020 and shows the impacts of rampant deforestation on the forests of the South East Asian country. It was created in partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
In 2018, fires burnt in record numbers throughout the forests of north and central Cambodia. At their peak during the dry season between January and March, it is estimated up to 1,800 fires were burning, more than any other country throughout South East Asia at that time. Deforestation has been accelerating too and it is estimated that there is only 3% of primary forest left throughout the country; the main drivers being the conversion of forest lands for agricultural use and targeted logging of valuable species, such as Rosewood, for the Asian furniture markets. Decades of forest clearance have also decimated the country’s biodiversity. Iconic animals such as tigers and elephants have long since been eradicated from most of the country’s forests.
Illuminating the Wilderness (2019)
Illuminating the Wilderness is a film by Project Art Works’ artists Kate Adams and Timothy Corrigan, in collaboration with artists Ben Rivers, Margaret Salmon, and neurodiverse artists and makers. Shot from multiple viewpoints and cameras, Illuminating the Wilderness is unscripted and reveals the fluidity of roles and interactions between this unique and itinerant community away from the practical, attitudinal and social barriers that they face in their everyday lives. Moments of humour and tender consideration for each other unfold in and around the landscape and weather systems of the mountains. The remoteness, scale and indifference of the remote Scottish landscape provides a rare sense of freedom and belonging for everyone involved.
The film was at the heart of EXPLORERS, a three year collaborative project generated by Project Art Works and involving Tate Liverpool, Mk Gallery, Fabrica, Photoworks, AUTOGRAPH and The Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney Australia that placed neurodiverse communities, artists and makers at the heart of civic and cultural life. The full film is 38 minutes. The cut for Earth Photo captures a central moment of the narrative where the crew spend a single night in a remote bothy together.
Project Art Works is the UK’s leading artist led organisation working with neurodiverse adults, young people and children. They bring the talents and abilities of neurodiverse artists to the forefront of art and culture by making them, their lives and their artwork visible.
When You Call I Shall Come (2020)
Carolyn is a writer, artist and visual arts producer with a BA and MA in Fine Art and a post-grad diploma in printmaking. Her current arts practice spans drawing, video and digital imaging. She has lived on the east bank of the Severn for 25 years, and the west bank for 13.
Filmed during the Covid-19 pandemic, the spring tidal bore was a silent one, apart from the natural sounds of the river, the incoming sea and birds. It was both melancholic and beautiful. The bore surfers respectfully stood down. This may be the first time ever, and hopefully the last.
Mongolia's Bankhar Dog Project (2019)
Tessa Chan is a Bristol-based photojournalist and documentary filmmaker with a focus on conservation and exploration. She believes in visual storytelling as a powerful tool to provoke social change.
The non-profit organisation, Mongolian Bankhar Dog Project (bankhar.org), is reintroducing an ancient landrace of guardian dogs to the steppes, to protect livestock and reduce human-animal conflict between nomadic herders and apex predators. By reviving traditional nomadic herding practises, it's hoped that the dogs can help save the country's grasslands from overgrazing and the effects of climate change. Chan directed, shot and edited the film on assignment for the South China Morning Post.
Featured image: Sean Gallagher (from Cambodia Burning, 2020)
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