Photography Amber Pinkerton

22 photographers answer: "Where are we going?"

A handful of artists find an image that responds to this existential question.

by Ryan White
|
25 September 2020, 7:00am

Photography Amber Pinkerton

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Over the past six months, photography has offered itself as a vital tool for change. The many different print sales that sprung up in aid of health, austerity and social justice causes proved the strength of the medium lies not simply in its emotive power.

When it comes to photographing our planet, images of melting ice-caps, oil spills in the ocean and rainforest deforestation continually offer a grim outlook on the future. But for every uncomfortable, saddening truth a photograph can reveal – there is always an image that can offer us hope – a feeling vital to achieving a profound change.

Here, 22 photographers look into their archive to find an image that answers the existential question: “Where are we going?” and share their thoughts on where they think that might be. Their responses – some optimistic, others less so – convey a spectrum of galvanising emotions.

Lea Colombo

Lea Colombo

“Into a colourful abyss.”

Cary Fagan

Cary Fagan

"Where are we going?
well.... where do you want to go? 
what's my purpose?
submerged into an era of uncertainty with no sign of ‘light’
we are that light, how do we fill a room? 
when you leave does the light remain? (is that how it wor-?...)
footsteps creeping through the door"

Maxime La

Maxime LA

“It’s hard to tell where everything is going these days. The least I could hope for is that we are being more honest with our priorities and conscious of others, near or far. It's important to remember that we are not alone.”

 Cécile S. Baudier photography

Cécile S. Baudier

“Towards uncertainty? I don't know what to write. Is it possible to even answer that question after this year. Your supposed to write something hopeful right?  Words that might comfort. I think that great things happened this year, the BLM for one. But all I know for sure is that I don’t know where we are going.”

Tiina Itkonen
Piniartoq is an ongoing project illuminating the effects of climate change on polar bears, subsistence hunters and Inuit communities in Greenland. It illustrates how species conservation relies on working together with local communities and respecting different cultural values. The project is a collaboration between polar scientist Dr. Kristin Laidre, photographer Tiina Itkonen and science writer Susan McGrath.

Tiina Itkonen

“In Greenland, sea ice is disappearing at the rate of about 10 % per decade. The culture of on ice subsistence hunting will be devastated and in the long term future, lost forever.”

Aijani Payne

Aijani Payne

“Praying that it's to a new world where the new generation do not ever have to fear.”

Lasse Dearman

Lasse Dearman

“The future belongs to the voices yet to be heard.”

Samuel de Saboia by Rafael Pavarotti
Samuel de Saboia by Rafael Pavarotti

Samuel de Saboia (photographed by Rafael Pavarotti)

“Mentally modified beings, growth and rhythm always up, we are fast, unique, we set ourselves on a mission to overcome all the boundaries, let it burn, break, let’s create bridges and expand, globalise and dominate. Horror movies and symphonies are made in ode of machines, the same body that one day sang to Gods now vocalise to computers, auto-tuned harmonies celebrate the new body, the new normal, as we take three seconds break between each news, ad, meme and viral video or go deep into wars, genocides and executions. The old being is not in fashion but just as mycelium we connect, there’s green between the cables and fire still burns digitally. Your kiss not your data, your organisms instead of algorithms, it will be beautiful where we going. but first I gotta know… Where are we?”

Lawrence Agyei

Lawrence Agyei

"Let love and unity lead the way."

Rosie Matheson

Rosie Matheson

“I’ve been thinking about this question a lot this year. Everything seems a little scary and dystopian but we must be hopeful. Hope is the source of power to lead us forward and keep us focused. I really hope we can slow down the advance of a technology focused way of life. We must continue to practice love, empathy – caring for the environment and others, and educating children about our precious planet. I wish for freedom for everyone on this earth but it feels like the opposite is happening. People must educate themselves, vote and give a fuck about what’s going on to make sure that where we are going is a better place than we are in now. I always go back to a quote from the Dalai Lama: ‘The past is the past, the future is empty, anything is possible’.”

Fabien Vilrus

Fabien Vilrus

“I never knew, but the journey must be done together.”

Nishanth Radhakrishnan

Nishanth Radhakrishnan

“To find out where I have been.”

Shamshawan Scott

Shamshawan Scott

Hop in, we’re going into a new renaissance.”

Shuwei Liu.jpg

Shuwei Liu

"Not far, not too close, but somewhere we could almost see ourselves clearly."

Tom Kneller.jpg

Tom Kneller

“The image I have chosen is the first step, awakening to the near future.”

Amber Pinkerton

Amber Pinkerton

“Youth is the answer.”

Lola and Pani

Lola and Pani

"We need to cherish these times and all contribute to a positive changes for the future. The simplest moments of being with friends by a lake in the summer could quickly become a thing of the past.”

JJ Lorenzo

JJ Lorenzo

“We can’t go anywhere from here. Since we’re staying on Earthwe will have to stop and think of how to do that better.”

Fujio Emura.jpg

Fujio Emura

"We are going nowhere but within. Connecting the dots of the past in order to move forward."

David Uzochukwu

David Uzochukwu

“Every day anew, Europe commits moral suicide. We are slowly drifting into the sun, and will not be remembered.”

Fumi Homma

Fumi Homma

“Hmmmmmm… God only knows!!!!”

Climate Uprise

Credits


All images courtesy of the artist

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Culture
Art
climate
Climate Uprise