The Lit x Climate Visuals: flash fiction and poetry competition

In August 2020, The Literary Platform asked aspiring fiction writers and poets to submit their response to one of four photographs.

Our Climate Visuals team work with a range of photographers to document the changes, impacts and responses to climate change. Our aim is to inspire visual communicators across the world, to move away from clichéd images of polar bears, melting ice caps and factories, to catalyse a new – more compelling and diverse – visual language for climate change. Together, with The Lit, we selected four images from four different photographers, exploring a variety of regions and communities around the world, and their relationship with the changing climate.

The aim of the competition was to showcase some of the ways in which different disciplines and media cross-pollinate. We are therefore delighted to share the winning and shortlisted entries below.

The work of six winning writers – responding to each of the photographs through storytelling or poetry – was originally published in Issue 3 of The Lit.

Solmaz Daryani, from The Eyes of Earth (The Death of Lake Urmia), Iran

The Eyes of Earth (The Death of Lake Urmia), Iran
Photo credit: Solmaz Daryani
  • Lake Urmia – located in the northwest of Iran – was once the biggest salt lake in the Middle East.
  • Lake Urmia was once home to many birds, ducks, pelicans and flamingoes, as well as a popular destination for visitors.
  • During the past 20 years, climatic changes, intensive agriculture and dam construction have combined to transform the lake; approximately 80% of the lake has disappeared.
  • The Noah’s Ark was once the biggest pleasure boat on the lake.

Solmaz Daryani; Instagram: @solmazdaryani, Twitter: @SolmazDaryani

 

Greg Kahn, from 3 Millimeters, Maryland, USA

Vanishing forests, growing marsh, and ‘For Sale’ signs in front of homes. 3 Millimeters, Maryland, USA.
Photo credit: Greg Kahn / Getty Images Climate Visuals Grant recipient
  • The Eastern Shore of Maryland is a short drive from Washington D.C. Its position means it was one of the first landed shores for colonial settlers.
  • Sea levels here are rising twice as fast as the global average.
  • Gradient sea walls, vegetation re-nourishment and education are among the efforts seeking to preserve natural habitat and homes in some locations along the coast; in other places along Chesapeake Bay the rising sea levels are irreversible.
  • Property values have fallen sharply in the most vulnerable areas, some have retreated from homes as the marsh land expands.

Greg Kahn, Instagram: @gregkahn, Twitter: @GregKahn

 

Aji Styawan, from Drowning Land, Demak Regency, Indonesia

  • The majority of the small islands among the 17,000 which make up the archipelago nation of Indonesia are only one meter above sea level.
  • In Demak Regency, Indonesia, local residents will spend around 5 to 10 million rupiahs a year to elevate their homes.
  • The ocean now engulfs thousands of hectares of land in some villages; farmers have become fishermen, as villagers have adapted to survive in different ways.
  • In a flooded public cemetery, the residents buried here are submerged by the rising sea that now surrounds their former homes.

Aji Styawan Instagram: @ajistyawan, Twitter: @adjiestyawan

 

Sophie Gerrard, The Flows, Caithness and Sutherland, Scotland

The Flows, Caithness and Sutherland, Scotland.
Photo credit: Sophie Gerrard
  • Flow Country is a peatland in the far north of mainland Scotland. Peatlands, a rare and unique habitat across the globe, hold almost 30 per cent of all terrestrial carbon.
  • Scotland’s peatland is widely considered to be the largest expanse of blanket peat bog in the world and the principal terrestrial carbon store in the UK.
  • In the Flow Country, incentives to make productive use of the peatland led to extensive forestry which dried and degraded the ecosystem.
  • Canes are used to create dams that maintain water levels in the Flow Country, helping restore the natural habitat.

Sophie Gerrard Instagram: @sophiegerrard, Twitter: @sophiegerrard_

Winning poet

Michaela Moclair for Abrasion

Winning fiction writer

George Harrison for Holding Out

Shortlisted poets

Clare Dwyer for Flow Country

Keiran Potter for Stolen Sugar

Shortlisted fiction writers

Clare Elwell for Salt Lakes

Sinead Price for Captain of the Sea

New York Climate Week Event: Climate Visuals Documenting Solutions

 

The images that define climate change need to be both illustrative and impactful – narratives must move from causes and impacts to real solutions.

For this New York Climate Week webinar: Climate Visuals: Documenting Solutions,Toby Smith, will present the 7 Climate Visuals Principles; an accessible evidence based guide to climate change imagery that can maximise the power of storytelling, increase impact, engagement and ultimately encourage positive behaviour change.  Joining Toby will be Nana Kofi Acquah. Nana is a Ghanaian photographer working across Africa with direct experience of how solutions and positive, participatory narratives can catalyse long term climate and development action.

 
16th July 2019, Kpatua, Ghana Oxfam built a solar powered pump in Kpatua to help over families become more resilient during dry seasons. Apart from community memberscoming to the pump twice a day, all year round, during the dry season, women use the water from the pump to farm vegetables for sale.
Photo credit: Nana Kofi Acquah

Toby and Nana are currently working together on a project with Ashden to document sustainable cooling solutions in Ghana and India. They will draw on their rich experience, expertise and examples of visual storytelling in a facilitated webinar format with space for audience questions, participation and discussion.

Enter The Climate Visuals Photography Award

The images that define climate change shape the way it is understood and acted upon. However, polar bears, melting ice and arrays of smoke stacks don’t convey the urgent human stories at the heart of the issue. Based on international social research, Climate Visuals provides 7 principles for a more diverse, relatable and compelling visual language for climate change.

We want to recognise existing and outstanding imagery with impact at our inaugural Climate Visuals Photography Award.  Entry to our competition is free, democratic, has ethical terms and conditions and a healthy £1000 cash prize.   We are looking for  photographers – amateur or professional – who have successfully engaged audiences with climate change,  its causes, impacts, and/or solutions.

Photographers will be judged on how well their photography embodies the 7 principles of visual climate change communication. The judges will also consider how effectively and widely their images have been published, shared, exhibited or innovatively presented.

A maximum of 5 photographs can be submitted. However, they will be scored individually. All photographs submitted will be randomised as single images amongst all other entries and entrants before judging.

Who should apply?

Anybody is welcome to apply – professional or amateur photographer. Applicants must be over the age of 18.

Interested in applying? 

Have a look at the application form, T&Cs and FAQs

Climate Visuals Photography Award Judges

Nicole Itano is the new Executive Director of  tve. Prior to that, she was WWF-UK’s Director of Media and Content, headed Save the Children UK’s creative team, and also spent a decade in international journalism where she reported from more than 50 countries for many of the world’s leading media outlets.

Kirstin Kidd is a Picture Editor at the Economist. She has over 10 years experience working on print magazines, book and online sector.  This includes New Scientist Magazine where Kirstin worked on long-term, in-depth picture research, as well as the fast-paced news agenda that required both commissioning and sourcing photography.

Eric Hilaire is the Environment, Science and Global Development Picture Editor at The Guardian. Previously, Eric lived in Hong Kong, where he began his career as a newspaper picture editor.

Toby Smith is the Climate Visuals Programme Lead and Media Liaison. He has 12 years experience as an award-winning Environmental Photographer who focuses on building innovative, global stories through collaboration and publication in leading editorial outlets.

 

 

*This is one of 4 categories being celebrated at Climate Outreach’s Climate Communication Awards.

Global Climate Solutions Imagery from the Ashden Winners

The Climate Visuals image library is built on the evolving evidence of what makes impactful,  not just illustrative, climate change photography.  A rapidly growing collection of over 1200 images are referenced from a broad range of sources and agencies, with a balance between Rights Managed and Creative Commons licensing types to suit different budgets and usages. 

Thousands of communication professionals access the library every month sourcing images for their campaigns, websites, reports and posts on social media. The images are organised into climate causes, impacts and solutions with accompanying text both captioning and placing the context of the image but also expanding on which of the seven Climate Visuals Principles are in action

 

Birmingham residents using free bikes provided by The Active Well-Being Society, 2017 UK Ashden Award for Clean Air in Towns and Cities.
Photo credit: The Active Well-Being Society / Ashden

The wider climate narrative and global media needs ongoing support to move the needle away from negative stories of causes and impacts to one of optimistic and realistic climate solutions. Explored in depth within our editorial  ‘Why Can’t The Media Visualise Climate Solutions?’  recent efforts to expand the library have since focused on identifying and filling content gaps while prioritising unpublished solution stories.

 Solar panel installation. Renewable Energy 4 Devon –  2009 Ashden Award winners
Photo credit: Andrew Aitchenson / Ashden 

Ashden, a non-for-profit based in London has a mission ‘to accelerate transformative climate solutions and build a more just world.’ Since 2001 the annual Ashden Awards have recognised over 225 global organisations tackling climate change, energy access, efficiency and storage.  All of their winners are clearly catalogued and profiled online which has, behind the scenes, included the building of an incredible, inclusive, diverse and positive photography archive, both with direct commissioning and soliciting or adopting visual content from the winners themselves. Climate Visuals Programme Lead, Toby Smith, was invited to dive into the archive with a view to making the collection a public resource.

“Ashden has long been unearthing, verifying and championing diverse, real-world climate solutions through the organisations and people driving them forwards. Their enormous photography archive is an absolute treasure trove of honest,  narrative-based, visual content that was desperate to be made public.  There was no question or hesitation of an immediate partnership between Climate Visuals and Ashden to host, launch and make their work accessible within our library to support wider climate communication efforts worldwide.”

Toby Smith, Climate Outreach, Visuals and Media Programme Lead

 Woman stood next to her crops in her greenhouse. GERES NGO – 2009 Ashden Award winners.
Photo by: Martin Wright / Ashden 

Ashden Director of Communications Jo Walton said: “Powerful images are a crucial weapon in our fight against the climate crisis. So we are delighted to work with Climate Visuals to share revealing, thought-provoking and inspiring images of climate solutions in the UK and around the world. Like Climate Visuals, we believe that great change starts with great storytelling. And we’re delighted to the tell the stories of front line climate innovators – true heroes leading us towards a low-carbon future”

Climate Visuals have edited over 170 quality images from an archive of over 2000, carefully enriching every frame with detailed factual or contextual captions and supplementary information of how it measures against our research into impact. The Ashden collection is now available on the Climate Visual Library and is technically a Rights Managed collection.  However, Ashden are kindly allowing unrestricted download of images from their Flickr pages, granting permissions for free usage and publication of the content so long as it is ‘for public good and in context of climate change and/or climate solutions.’  Users of the images should also clearly credit the images in the format ‘Photo by:  Photographer Name / Ashden’.

“The next stage of our Climate Visuals collaboration will tackle the urgent need for sustainable cooling in an ever-warmer world. We look forward to producing a series of moving and insightful images illuminating this crucial challenge.” 

Craig Burnett – Senior Communications Officer – Ashden

 Women harvesting crops outside shaded nets. Rajastan Horticulture Development Society – 2014 Ashden Award nominees.
Photo by: Ashden

Climate Visuals Joins World Press Photo House Livecast #2

 

World Press Photo House #2: World Environment Day, Conversations with photographers and organizations that are advocating for a more impactful and engaging environment.

Friday 5th June is World Environment Day, which encourages worldwide awareness and action for the protection of the environment. This year, the main theme is ‘Time for Nature,’ with a focus on its role in providing the essential infrastructure that supports life on Earth and human development.

For the second edition of the World Press Photo House livecast, WPP invited photographers and organizations that are advocating for more impactful, engaging environment and conservation photography to talk about their initiatives and projects.

Toby Smith, Climate Visuals Programme Lead, will present an introduction to the 7 Climate Visuals Principles, an accessible evidence based guide to what makes not just illustrative but truly impactful imagery. This will be demonstrated with curated examples from the past Environment and Nature winners within the World Press Photo Collection. Finally, there will be a short reflection on the phenomenon of environmental photography during COVID and the challenges ahead as we emerge.

Moderated by Lars Boering, managing director of the World Press Photo Foundation, the program includes presentations from the following speakers, in addition to Toby Smith:

Cristina Mittermeier is the marine biologist and activist who pioneered the concept and field of conservation photography. Mittermeier founded the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) in 2005 to provide a platform for photographers working on environmental issues. In 2015, Mittermeier co-founded SeaLegacy, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the ocean.

In 2020, on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Mittermeier announced the most ambitious project of her career: Only One, a new collective of organizations that uses digital technology and visual storytelling to catalyze lasting cultural change, with the ultimate goal of conserving the world’s oceans from now into perpetuity. During her presentation, she will tell us more about this initiative and her work as a conservation photographer.

 Cristina Mittermeier, Mexico, conservation photographer, co-founder of Sea Legacy.
Photo credit: Cristina Mittermeier.

 

Esther Horvath is a Fellow at ILCP, member of The Photo Society and science photographer for Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany. Since 2015, Horvath has dedicated her photography to the polar regions, especially to the Arctic Ocean, documenting scientific expeditions and behind the scene science stories. She follows the work of multiple science groups that are working to better understand the changing polar regions.

In 2020, she was awarded 1st prize, singles in the Environment category of the 2020 Photo Contest for her photo ‘Polar Bear and her Cub’. During her talk, she will tell us the story behind her awarded image and discuss her work in the Arctic Ocean.

In addition, Jerzy Brinkhof, World Press Photo exhibitions manager, will tell the stories behind some of the awarded images in the Nature and Environment categories of the 2020 Photo Contest. Edie Peters, manager of the PhotoQ Bookshop, will present one of the nature and environment photo books to watch out for in 2020.

 The Carbon Threat. Josiah Olemaun, a young whaler, takes a break from stacking whale meat in the family ice cellar in Utqiaġvik, Alaska, United States, on 29 April 2018. Thawing permafrost undermines house foundations, makes the landscape more difficult to navigate and causes ice cellars to flood and provisions to spoil.A single whale can feed a community for nearly a year, if the meat is properly stored.
Photo credit: Katie Orlinsky, United States, National Geographic.

The World Press Photo livecasts showcase the stories that matter to a global audience. Through a rich and diverse program of presentations, talks and discussions, we encourage diverse accounts of the world that present stories with different perspectives, educate the public and the profession on the making of stories, and encourage debate on their meaning.

Learn more and re-watch the first edition here.

Join us on 5 June at 10:00 EDT / 15:00 BST / 16.00 CEST. It’s #TimeforNature.

Getty Images and Climate Visuals award $20,000 to photojournalists

Getty Images and Climate Visuals Award $20,000 to Photojournalists as Part of Broader Effort to Advance the Visual Narratives of the Global Climate Crisis

Two recipients awarded for respective bodies of work that document rising sea levels in communities around the world

LONDON April 7, 2020Getty Images, a world leader in visual communications, in partnership with Climate Visuals, the world’s only evidence-backed programme for climate change photography, has named two recipients of the inaugural Getty Images Climate Visuals Grants, with each photojournalist receiving a grant of $10,000 to help advance the visual narratives surrounding this complex global issue.

As media coverage of the global climate crisis intensified through 2019, Getty Images and Climate Visuals understand the need to meet and sustain that growing attention with nuanced photojournalism that advances and localises the world’s collective understanding of the issues at stake. For this inaugural grant, Getty Images received 144 submissions from photographers across over 40 different nations.

The judges awarded two recipients, alongside one honourable mention – all of whom focused work on the rising sea levels in their respective locations and the vast damage this is inflicting on communities worldwide. The 2020 Getty Images Climate Visuals Grant recipients are:

  • Aji Styawan for Drowning Land: Aji, a freelance photojournalist from Indonesia, is committed to documenting the effect climate change has already had on millions of lives. His work focuses on the resiliency of the people in the Demak Regency of Indonesia as they live with rising sea levels in not only their communities, but even inside their homes.
Abdul Muid (60) and his wife Muniah (55) pose inside their flooded home due to rising sea levels. Abdul and his family have been living in this house, and living with the floods for about ten years. He doesn’t have the money to move to another house, further away from the sea.
Photo credit: Aji Styawan/Getty Images Climate Visuals Grant recipient
  • Greg Kahn for 3 Millimeters: Greg, a Pulitzer Prize nominated documentary fine art photographer receives a grant for 3 Millimeters, which explores rising sea levels on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, USA. His project depicts the slow drowning of a historic culture that built an entire cultural ecosystem on the shifting tidal waves. 
 
Douglas walks to the rear entrance of New Revived United Methodist Church in Taylor’s Island, Md. Decades ago, the church sat in front of forest, now visible open water and marsh come right to the back side of the historic church.
Photo credit: Greg Kahn/Getty Images Climate Visuals Grant recipient

Additionally, Acacia Johnson, a photojournalist from Alaska,  was recognised with an honourable mention for her project Open Water Season: Adapting to an Ice-Free Arctic, which focuses on sea ice melting across the Arctic and the ways in which Inuit communities must adapt to prolonged seasons of open water.

Speaking on the 2020 recipients, Getty Images Senior Vice President and Head of Global Content, Ken Mainardis says: “We are thrilled to support photojournalists who understand that visual content has the power to move the world and redefine the narratives around global issues, like the climate crisis. We were blown away by the quality of the recipients’ work, as well as their vision and commitment to catalyse a new visual language for climate change.”

Submissions were judged by a prestigious industry-leading panel, including:

  • Jay Davies, Director of Photography, Getty Images
  • Dr. Julie Doyle, Climate Communication Professor at Brighton University
  • Dr. Kate Manzo, Climate Change and Development Senior Lecturer at Newcastle University
  • Fiona Shields, Head of Photography, The Guardian
  • Dr.  Susie Wang, Researcher at Climate Visuals

Speaking on the selection process and the awarded work, Climate Visuals Researcher and Judge, Susie Wang said: “We reviewed so many compelling photos of both devastating climate impacts and hopeful climate solutions. Looking through the stories of strong, resilient communities that are living with and adapting to climate change was particularly moving. The two recipients will be supported to continue exploring comparable narratives of sea level rise in diverse and globally distant landscapes, cultures and geography. Their local access and sense of true representation shone through at application.”

 
Sutarti (33) takes a peek into her refrigerator in the kitchen of her flooded home due to rising sea levels. She has not enough money to move to a safe place.
Photo credit: Aji Styawan/Getty Images Climate Visuals Grant recipient
Phil Jackson, a longtime muskrat trapper, heads out to set traps in Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Feb. 19, 2014. Jackson says the number of muskrats have declined since the salinity of the water in Blackwater has climbed, a result of sea level rise. Scientists predict this area will be underwater in about 50 years.
Photo credit: Greg Kahn/Getty Images Climate Visuals Grant recipient

Since it was founded in 1995, Getty Images has been buoyed by its outstanding, award-winning contributors and is deeply committed to supporting the global photojournalism community. The Getty Images Climate Visuals Grants is part of the wider Getty Images Grants program, which since its inception has donated over US$1.6 million to photographers and videographers around the world.

For more information, or to speak with one of the Getty Images Climate Visuals Grant recipients please contact:

Victoria Gimigliano

Digital Communications Coordinator, Climate Visuals

About Getty Images: 

Getty Images is one of the most trusted and esteemed sources of visual content in the world, with over 375 million assets including photos, videos, and music, available through its industry-leading sites www.gettyimages.com and www.istock.com. The Getty Images website serves creative, business and media customers in nearly every country in the world and is the first-place people turn to discover, purchase and share powerful visual content from the world’s best photographers and videographers. Getty Images works with over 310,000 contributors and hundreds of image partners to provide comprehensive coverage of more than 160,000 news, sport and entertainment events each year, impactful creative imagery to communicate any commercial concept and the world’s deepest digital archive of historic photography.

Visit Getty Images at www.gettyimages.com to learn more about how the company is advancing the unique role of still and moving imagery in communication and business, enabling creative ideas to come to life. For company news and announcements, visit our Press Room, and for the stories and inspiration behind our content, visit gettyimages.creativeinsights.com. Find Getty Images on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or download the Getty Images app where you can explore, save and share the world’s best imagery.

About Climate Visuals

Climate Visuals is a programme of Climate Outreach, a team of social scientists and climate communication specialists building a social mandate for climate change through wider and deeper public engagement. We have 15 years experience helping organisations communicate in ways that resonate with the values of their audiences and create the types of climate conversations that lead to action. Our Oxford-based charity provides evidence-based, practical tools and consultancy to organisations worldwide: governments, international bodies, charities, media outlets, academic institutions, businesses, youth groups etc.

Climate Visuals is the world’s only evidence-backed programme for climate change photography.  Based on international social research and industry insights, Climate Visuals aims to strategically change the working practices of visual communicators across the world, to move away from clichéd images of polar bears, melting ice caps and factories, to catalyse a new – more compelling and diverse – visual language for climate change.  Climate Visuals hosts an evidence-based image reference library based on its publicly accessible 7 Climate Visuals Principles and peer-reviewed evidence which  uniquely positions their team to make informed, accurate and impactful decisions around climate change imagery.

Getty Images Climate Visuals Grant Recipient — Aji Styawan

Biography

My name is Aji Styawan (b.1990), I’m a photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Demak Regency, Central Java, Indonesia. I started my career as a freelance photojournalist in 2013 by joining several photo press agencies. While working with different wire services, my work has been featured in local and international news outlets.

Drowning Land

This project documents the resiliency of the people in Demak Regency, Indonesia, as they live with rising seas in their neighborhoods and inside their homes.

A villager throws rocks to fill the foundation for his new house in an effort to elevate it and mitigate the threat of the rising sea. Local residents will spend around 5 to 10 Million rupiahs in a year to elevate their homes and protect it from flooding.
Photo credit: Aji Styawan/Getty Images Climate Visuals Grant recipient

Direct Quote from Aji

As the recipient I am beyond thrilled, this grant is so meaningful to me. As a native photographer in Demak, this grant will help me to continue producing this story over the long term, separate from my daily work as a photojournalist at Antara Foto press photo agency.  

With this project that will be shown in the news, a more appropriate solution might come from the government, or from those organizations and people who care about the climate crisis, to help the people of Demak as they face rising sea levels on a daily basis in their homes, and on their land.

This grant will also open opportunities for me to continue my project in other parts of Indonesia, which are severely impacted by rising sea levels due to climate change, especially on Java. I will also focus and investigate the ways people are working on solutions.

 Villagers performing maintenance work on the so called ‘Low Threshold Breakwater Technology’ construction. It was built by the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing to slow down the pace of the rising sea impacting their village. Various efforts dealing with the abrasion due to the rising sea have been carried out by a number of environmental organizations and the government. But, land subsidence accompanied by rising sea levels hits double hard and continues to threaten thousands of residents.
Photo credit: Aji Styawan/Getty Images Climate Visuals Grant recipient

Project Proposal

Indonesia is one of the largest archipelago nations in the world with over 17.000 islands. With the majority of the small islands only one meter above sea level, coastal areas are being threatened by climate change. Deforestation, land reclamation and groundwater extraction by the industry on the coasts make these areas even more vulnerable to rising sea levels.

Experts predict that before 2050, thousands of small islands and millions of houses in coastal areas across Indonesia will disappear due to rising sea levels. Data from the Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, show the abrasion rate in Indonesia reaches 1,950 hectares per year. Total land lost between 2000 and 2014 was 29,261 hectares. Abrasion on the northern coast of Central Java reached 6,000 hectares since 2000.

Demak Regency is located on the northern coast of Central Java, about 450 km east of Jakarta. Some areas of Demak, Sayung subdistrict, were ranked the highest impacted by abrasion. The coastline had retreated around 5.1 kilometers from the coastline compared to 1994. Over 500 households were displaced due to abrasion in the the past 20 years and more are following. The ocean engulfs more than thousands of hectares land areas in some of villages where one of hamlets has now completely sunk below sea level.

The villagers witnessed the disappearance of their land, that was once productive land used for agriculture. With the sea rising that land gradually morphed into becoming fish ponds and mangrove forests which are now also submerged. Today it’s all sea, and former farmers are now fishermen. Households are cut off from the land, as bridges and roads sink below sea level forcing the villagers to adapt and survive in the different ways. When alive, the residents live with the seawater, they are surrounded by it, even inside their homes.

When they die they are buried in the land submerged by the rising sea.

 Villagers pray for their family members at a flooded public cemetery due to rising sea levels. When alive, the residents live with the seawater, they are surrounded by it, even inside their homes. When they die they are buried in the land submerged by the rising sea.
Photo credit: Aji Styawan/Getty Images Climate Visuals Grant recipient
A woman praying Maghrib Salat on her bed in the evening, inside her home that is flooded due to rising sea levels.
Photo credit: Aji Styawan/Getty Images Climate Visuals Grant recipient

Principles for Climate Change Communication

I am a native to Demak, I live and work as a photojournalist from there. The people in Demak are my neighbors and their situation appeals to my heart. Being a local photographer, I feel a strong commitment to make their story known, to show people around the world how climate change already impacts people’s lives. If the world does not act it will only get worse, to at least slow down what already is a climate crisis.

 

Getty Images Climate Visuals Grant Recipient — Greg Kahn

Biography

Greg Kahn (b. 1981) is an American documentary fine art photographer. Kahn grew up in a small coastal town in Rhode Island, and attended The George Washington University in Washington D.C.]

3 Millimeters

A look at sea level rise on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and the slow drowning of a historic culture tied to the tide.

 A church on Hoopers Island has waves from the Chesapeake lapping up against the back side of the building during high tide. Every year the water gets a little closer and there are few places left to move.
Photo Credit: Greg Kahn/Getty Images Climate Visuals Grant recipient

Direct Quote From Greg

I’m deeply honored to receive this grant. The funding will be immensely helpful as I continue to document the Eastern Shore of Maryland and the people’s lives that are changing as a result of sea level rise. A lot of this effort takes research and time out on the peninsula, so the grant will go directly to those efforts. When I first began documenting this issue, I talked with a lot of residents in the affected area that didn’t believe the science. As time went on, I think even the ones who were skeptical are starting to open their eyes, which is why it’s even more important to continue the work today.

 Lacolia Alford watches disaster assessment officials check for leaks on her roof from her bedroom window in Crisfield, Maryland. Her home suffered major damage from water after Hurricane Sandy and almost a year later,still needs $7,000 in repairs to the roof and foundation of the house.
Photo Credit: Greg Kahn/Getty Images Climate Visuals Grant recipient

Project Proposal

Three extra millimeters of water every year will make land vanish. It will swallow communities. It will change environmental habitats forever. It will cause record pollution. For townspeople along the inner-coastal region of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, the impact of sea level rise is no longer an abstract worry debated by politicians. They see the land becoming more saturated beneath their feet.

Thirteen of the bay’s southern islands, many of them once inhabited,are gone. “3 Millimeters” explores the waterways of Maryland, where, due to the region’s makeup and Atlantic Ocean flow, sea levels are rising twice as fast as the global average and will leap by as much as five feet by 2100. This will submerge more than 250,000 acres of land, displacing more than half a million people. My photographs will document the

consequences of climate change – a process without emergency brakes. The project considers how a community’s identity, ever tied to the land, is evolving. Generational farms, once fertile and productive, now wilt as mounting salinity levels from rising tides force families to abandon their way of life.

“3 Millimeters” is not about documenting melting glaciers in cold, far away places. It’s not about rampaging storms that inflict swift, sudden and circumstantial devastation on unsuspecting communities. “3 Millimeters” is about the slow drowning of a place, its way of life, and what we can learn from that.

While nothing can reverse rising seas in places like Smith Island or Blackwater NWR, there is hope for others. Gradient sea walls, vegetation re-nourishment and public education are all ongoing endeavors to preserve natural habitat and homes along the coast.  The hope is that it will stop erosion as well as maintain habitat for sea life such as horseshoe crabs and terrapins. “3 Millimeters” will explore what methods are slowing erosion, and what future climate change will mean to this region.

 Waterman Aaron Powley hauls in a net in Fishing Creek, Md., just north of Hoopersville. Young watermen are becoming more of a rarity. Some try to continue the family business, which can date more than six generations, saying they don’t want to be the one to break the tradition.
Photo Credit: Greg Kahn/Getty Images Climate Visuals Grant recipient
 
A vacant home in Hoopersville, MD decays in the expaning marsh on Dec. 30, 2017. With property values dropping along the most vulnerable areas on the Eastern Shore, some homes are left for the saturated soil to recalim.
Photo Credit: Greg Kahn/Getty Images Climate Visuals Grant recipient

Principles For Climate Change Communication

The Eastern Shore of Maryland is one of the frontiers of climate change in the United States. It is not a far off place with melting glaciers, it is local and happening now. The area affected is a short drive from the seat of power in Washington, D.C. where policy could be enacted to change how we live and fight this unfolding cautionary tale.

The area is also historically conservative politically, but with the rapid loss of land due to sea level rise, even the residents who refused to believe the science are now accepting the truth. This story has the ability to make climate change a local issue for our nation, no longer places on the outskirts that few people live, but a place that has a history back to when settler’s first landed on the shores of America

Getty Images and Climate Visuals Launch New Grant to Evolve the Visual Narratives that Define the Global Climate Crisis

The Getty Images Climate Visuals Grants aim to transform depiction of complex climate issues to ensure greater efficacy, immediacy and drive positive change

The application deadline has now passed.
We are currently judging entries and will announce the winners in April.

London- January 16, 2020: Getty Images, a world leader in visual communications, in partnership with  Climate Visuals, the world’s only evidence-backed programme for climate change photography, has today announced the launch of the Getty Images Climate Visuals Grants, open to photojournalists from around the world who are working to advance the visual narratives that  define the global climate crisis.

Together, Getty Images and Climate Visuals aim to support the creation of new stories with compelling, colourful and emotionally powerful imagery that explores this complex crisis – its causes, effects and solutions. These Grants will enable the production of stories that have the integrity and immediacy needed to both raise awareness and inspire action that is vital in this current moment. As media coverage of the global climate crisis intensifies, Getty Images and Climate Visuals understand the need to meet and sustain that growing attention with nuanced photojournalism that advances and localises the world’s collective understanding of what is at stake. Imagery has the power to document events, communicate ideas, trigger emotion, prompt conversation, reveal truths and inspire real change. Professional image-makers need to harness all these qualities, to meet the challenge posed by global climate change and ensure imagery captured is not just documenting but is also inspiring conversation and driving behavioural change.

Two grants of $10,000 each, totaling $20,000, will be awarded to two photojournalists whose work focuses on the local impacts of- and solutions to- climate change, not simply the causes, which have historically been well represented in traditional news coverage. The photographer’s work must also demonstrate elements of the seven Climate Visuals Principles for climate change communication. Published by Climate Visuals and based on  social research into the efficacy of climate change imagery, the guidance includes: show real people; tell new stories; show climate change causes at scale; show emotionally powerful impacts; understand the audience; show local but serious impacts; demonstrate caution and care with protest imagery.

“Getty Images’ mission is to move the world with images,” said Ken Mainardis, Senior Vice President, Head of Content at Getty Images. “Photojournalism has the ability to not only educate the viewer but also provide a deeper understanding of how the climate crisis is effecting real people around the world in visceral ways. The most powerful photojournalism both tells a story and touches people’s hearts.

Mainardis continues: “We are thrilled to be further expanding our Grants program – even more so with an honorable and committed organization like Climate Visuals, who have already done so much work to strategically change the working practices of influential visual communicators across the world and to catalyse a new – more compelling and diverse – visual language for climate change.”

“The Climate Visuals project was born from Climate Outreach recognising an urgent need for climate images that go beyond illustration to photography with a true and measurable impact on an audience.” said Toby Smith, Climate Visuals Programme Lead.  “The foundation of our work is peer-reviewed evidence proving that the images most emblematic of climate change, such as polar bears and factories, are now broken tropes. Distilled into our seven Climate Visuals Principles we offer guidance on producing new, salient and effective narratives.    This generous, timely and welcome grants partnership with Getty Images is an incredible opportunity for two photographers to produce or finish projects to a global standard with a focus on their audience, local climate issues and solutions – an opportunity to make a genuine difference.

Submissions will be judged by a prestigious industry-leading panel including;

  • Jay Davies, Director of Photography, Getty Images
  • Julie Doyle, Climate Communication Professor at Brighton University
  • Kate Manzo, Climate Change and Development Senior Lecturer at Newcastle University
  • Fiona Shields, Picture Editor, The Guardian
  • Toby Smith, Climate Visuals Programme Lead at Climate Outreach and Environmental Photographer

The Getty Images Climate Visuals Grants is part of Getty Images’ wider grants program, which since its inception has donated over US$1.6 million to photographers and videographers around the world.

The application deadline has now passed.
We are currently judging entries and will announce the winners in April.

For more information, or for imagery requests, please contact:

Press Room at Getty Images or Victoria Gimigliano at Climate Visuals

victoria.gimigliano@climateoutreach.org

 

About Getty Images: 

Getty Images is one of the most trusted and esteemed sources of visual content in the world, with over 350 million assets including photos, videos, and music, available through its industry-leading sites www.gettyimages.com and www.istock.com. The Getty Images website serves creative, business and media customers in nearly every country in the world and is the first-place people turn to discover, purchase and share powerful visual content from the world’s best photographers and videographers. Getty Images works with over 300,000 contributors and hundreds of image partners to provide comprehensive coverage of more than 160,000 news, sport and entertainment events each year, impactful creative imagery to communicate any commercial concept and the world’s deepest digital archive of historic photography.

 

Visit Getty Images at www.gettyimages.com to learn more about how the company is advancing the unique role of still and moving imagery in communication and business, enabling creative ideas to come to life. For company news and announcements, visit our Press Room, and for the stories and inspiration behind our content, visit gettyimages.creativeinsights.com. Find Getty Images on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or download the Getty Images app where you can explore, save and share the world’s best imagery.

About Climate Visuals

Climate Visuals is a programme of Climate Outreach. Together they are Europe’s leading climate communication organisation – a team of social scientists and climate communication specialists based in Oxford UK, with 15 years of experience helping organisations widen and deepen engagement with climate change. They support their partners in communicating climate change in ways that resonate with the values of their audiences and create the types of climate conversations that lead to action, with world-leading advice and practical tools for engagement, combining scientific research methods with years of hands-on experience.

Climate Visuals is the world’s only evidence-backed programme for climate change photography.  Based on international social research and industry insights, Climate Visuals aims to strategically change the working practices of visual communicators across the world, to move away from clichéd images of polar bears, melting ice caps and factories, to catalyse a new – more compelling and diverse – visual language for climate change.  Climate Visuals hosts an evidence based image reference library based on its publicly accessible 7 Climate Visuals Principles and peer-reviewed evidence which  uniquely positions their team to make informed, accurate and impactful decisions around climate change imagery.

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