Chapter 6: Envisioning the Environment in the 21st Century
In this chapter, and the next one, I consider more closely how photographers and environmentalists have embraced technological innovation and emerging media to advocate wide-ranging environmental concerns. This chapter focuses on a small group of photographers that have envisioned a new way to show environmental threats and communicate the tensions that intersect humanity and the environment. As this chapter will show, photographers work hard to understand the places, ecosystems, and cultures they photograph in an effort to steer the visual narrative with the hopes of getting others to see these wrongs and encourage action. Increasingly driven by their belief that what they are seeing is wrong, these photographers have cultivated alliances and partnerships with specialized entities using all media with the expressed desire to make a difference. This chapter concludes with examples of rephotography as an alternative approach to understanding changes slowly developing over time to geographic entities as well as all living and nonliving things. Looked at in that sense, it is easier to see what has become of Earth’s resources and the effect of environmental threats to culture and society.
As discussed in Chapter 1, environmental photography exposes the ills society has placed on Earth and all its inhabitants and these photos serve as witness to wrongs and make us see what we would otherwise ignore, a visual record of the threats imposed by humanity to the environment. There are, of course, countless examples of photographers actively practicing environmental photography that can...
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