How photography can address the climate crisis as a social justice issue

Virtual event


June 17, 2022
10:00–11:15AM EDT

Join VII Insider
Photograph by Kamikia Kisedje / People's Planet Project

We need to redefine the climate crisis as a social justice issue. The rapid decline of our environment is a site for multiple intersections of injustice, making the climate crisis a human rights issue of critical and increasing importance. The impacts of climate change are not – and will not – be borne equally or fairly between rich and poor, women and men, and older and younger generations. Consequently, there is a growing need to focus on climate justice, which looks at the climate crisis through a human rights lens.  We need to be motivated by the belief that we can create a better future for present and future generations by working together.

In this series of events, we have been questioning whether the visual representation of the environmental crisis over the last few years has focused too much on faraway places, trying to shock, showing communities that feel distant and unconnected. 

The question now is whether we need to change this perspective. This change could be done by altering the types of stories depicted or by adding the gaze of those who narrate important accounts, especially those directly involved in a context of injustice. Could these more unfiltered views help make connections that enable the viewing public to think and shift understanding?

In this event, moderated by Dr Paul Lowe, series curator Maria Teresa Salvati is joined by Abdel Mandili, founder of the People’s Planet Project.

This event starts at:

10:00 EDT

15:00 BST

16:00 CEST

This event is supported by the Photography and the Archive Research Centre, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, and Everything is Connected.

This event was recorded and you can watch the video here

Abdel Mandili

Abdel Mandili is the founder of the People’s Planet Project, which assists indigenous communities in their battle against deforestation. His most recent documentary ‘The Indigenous Quest’ is about the massive forest loss in Borneo caused by big multinationals to clear land for palm oil plantations at the cost of indigenous customary lands. The documentary was awarded a Special Mention at the Asia South East Short Film Festival, Winter 2018. Throughout his work for the People’s Planet Project, Abdel has established partnerships and worked closely with several Indigenous associations from Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia.

Maria Teresa Salvati

Maria Teresa Salvati is founder and director of Everything is Connected, a trans-disciplinary platform that aims at connecting different areas of research, and experiments with new ways to involve and engage the public at large, learning through the results of experimentation and providing the community with new paradigms for communicating the environmental crisis.

Paul Lowe

, London
Dr. Paul Lowe is a Reader in Documentary Photography and the Course Leader of the Masters program in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication, University of the Arts, London, UK. Paul is an award-winning photographer who has been published in TIME, Newsweek, Life, The Sunday Times Magazine, The Observer, and The Independent, amongst others. He has covered breaking news the world over, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nelson Mandela’s release, famine in Africa, the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, and the destruction of Grozny.
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