EXTREMES – The Environmental Issue:
New ways of visualising climate change in Foam Magazine
Take a look through your phone. How many images that you see show a cause or effect of climate change? Probably more than expected! In fact, such images are everywhere, reminding us of the ongoing threat. Yet, the trend forecasts don’t show signs of improvement to the state of our environment, which makes us wonder: in order to communicate our shared responsibility better, do we need to rethink the way we visually represent climate change?
This curated theme dives deeper into Foam Magazine #64: EXTREMES—The Environmental Issue, addressing exactly this question and more. Scroll down to explore the rich content of this issue of Foam Magazine.
Abundance vs. Scarcity
EXTREMES—The Environmental Issue looks at the human relationship with the environment from two opposing, yet connected, perspectives: one side of the magazine focuses on abundance and the other part on scarcity—making the magazine readable from both sides.
Together, the 16 portfolios and 6 essays in this issue address a wide variety of topics related to our impact on our environment: from the waste we produce and the products we consume to natural disasters and extreme weather. Industrialisation, overpopulation, consumerism versus resource scarcity, inequality, and the destruction of vital habitats: we look at how photography exposes the imbalance of the Anthropocene (the human-driven influence on nature in our current day and age) and how images frame our understanding of climate change.
EXTREMES—The Environmental Issue serves as an agent and a messenger to raise awareness, reflection, and reimagination around a topic that affects us all.
Learn more about the cover(s)
How were the two cover images selected and in what way do they represent the thematics of the magazine? Learn more about the process behind this selection and what these images tell us about abundance vs. scarcity.
In the below videos, we dive into two portfolios and one long read from the abundance side of EXTREMES–The Environmental Issue.
First, we (literally) zoom in on the fascinating work of former Foam Talent Aàdesokan. His work deals with the afterlife of the products we consume: our trash. His series reveals the complex infrastructure behind our waste economy. The second video highlights The Crisis of Storytelling, a long read by author, creative director and podcaster Gem Fletcher. In her text, Fletcher discusses whether we need a new visual language to discuss climate change. In the last video, we take a look at the work of Natacha de Mahieu, who cleverly constructs your holiday fantasy—or rather tourist nightmare—through her depictions of popular travel destinations.
PORTFOLIO – Waste Identity: Passport for Plastics & Bola Bola Living by Aàdesokan
LONG READ – Crisis of Storytelling by Gem Fletcher
PORTFOLIO – Theatre of Authenticity by Natacha de Mahieu
Read the (double) Theme Text On Transience
In the (double) theme text On Transience, managing editor of Foam Magazine Katy Hundertmark explores the two opposite sides of the Magazine: abundance and scarcity—stressing the need for more nuanced (visual) storytelling about climate change. The text can be read from both sides of the magazine, representing the conceptual turning point.
Visually, the theme text higlights the unique work of Cuban artist Ana Mendieta (1948-1985). Her performance-based works are known as 'earth/body sculptures'—in which the imprint of her body in the earth is captured in various ways. Through this practice, Mendieta aimed to unite her (female) body with the earth and create a spiritual connection.
Flipping to the other side, the below videos guide you through two portfolios and one long read from the scarcity side of EXTREMES–The Environmental Issue.
The first video invites us on a journey deep into the heart of Ben Cruachan, a Scottish mountain. Artist and writer Maria Fusco developed an audio piece commissioned by BBC4 in response to the excavation of this mountain during the 1960s. Moving to the other side of the world, in the second video, we follow Anishanaabe-kwe curator and writer Wanda Nanibush from Beausoleil First Nation in Canada on an exploration of Indigenous photography and the urgent need for radical inclusivity in our (visual) perception of climate change. Lastly, the third video travels past the shores of Salt Lake Urmia in Iran, where photographer Solmaz Daryani, for her project The Eyes of Earth, captures the dried and desolate surroundings of what was once a flourishing holiday destination.
PORTFOLIO – Master Rock by Maria Fusco
LONG READ – Radical Inclusivity, Relationality and Indigenous Photography by Wanda Nanibush
PORTFOLIO – The Eyes of Earth by Solmaz Daryani
Buy Foam Magazine #64: EXTREMES