COP 20, Peru; Fotofestival, Naarden, NL; Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, Paris, FR ;Maison du futur, Geneve, CH; Nieuwe Land Erfgoed, Lelystad, NL; UN Building, New York, US;
July 01, 2016
The Where Will We Go? Exhibition is designed to highlight both the immense complexities associated with internal and cross-border human displacement, as well as the specific human rights implications involved with such involuntary population movements.
A significant sea level rise is one of the major anticipated consequences of climate change. This will cause low-lying coastal areas to become completely submerged, while others will increasingly face short-lived high-water levels. These anticipated changes could have a major impact on the lives of coastal populations. The small island developing states (SIDS) will be especially vulnerable to the effects of sea level rise, and to changes in marine ecosystems, because of their major dependence on marine resources.
For three years the photojournalist Kadir van Lohuizen has been looking at the human consequences of rising sea levels caused by climate change.
He traveled to Greenland, Bangladesh, Fiji, Kiribati, Panama (Guna Yala), Papua New Guinea (Cartaret atolls), the United Kingdom and the USA.
In the different regions he not only looked at the areas that are affected or will be affected, but also at the places where people have already relocated. He photographed and interviewed people who are still in the affected areas, as well as other members of the families who have already moved to safer ground, highlighting the often-overlooked fact that people are already being forced to evacuate many regions well before they are completely flooded and uninhabitable. This is due to the fact that the sea is already intruding in these areas through ever-higher tides, making once-fertile land infertile and drinking water brackish and undrinkable.
The future human cost of rising sea levels is dramatic in the extreme. The entire country of Kiribati, for example, will eventually have to relocate, while in Bangladesh it is estimated that about 50 million people will need to move from the delta region by 2050 and nobody knows where they will go. The east coast of the USA is experiencing sea level rise which is three-times higher than the global average, and it is predicted that major centers such as the Miami beach area will need to be evacuated by 2060.
Today, no one doubts any longer that glaciers the world over are retreating, and even more worryingly that Greenland and Antarctica are melting at an increasing pace. It is alarming that past estimates of the speed and impact of these developments appear to have been too conservative and that we should start preparing for the biggest displacement in human history.
Photography and Cinematography: Kadir van Lohuizen
Exhibition Design / Director of audio-visual: Jeroen de Vries
Project Managment, Production and Compilation: Frank Ortmanns [VEX]