Luctor et

Anne Nobels

2019 - Ongoing


We live in a scary, uncertain time and not (just) because of all the violence, if we look back on human history we live in the most peaceful era. A big part is due to environmental issues. Scientists that are researching global warming are warning us that we need to act. Recent scientific articles even state that if we don't drastically change our ways in the next decade, human civilisation will be under serious threat by 2050. We will run out of resources and there won't be enough food and water to go around. Drought, wild fires and floods will become very common and the earth is already overpopulated...

This probably isn't the first time you hear about this. It's in the news and all over the internet on a regular basis, yet not much seems to change in our ways. When I take a look at my own life, I could also do a lot more. But it's hard to let go of old habits and create new ones. Giving up on a bit of luxury your so used to, like taking a long shower after a warm summers day or buying that nice outfit made somewhere across the world when you need a little pick me up. Or bigger things like flying or airconditioning or eating meat. And because we don't really feel the consequences of our actions at the moment it's even harder to commit. This makes me scared we'll act to late, especially because many influential people don't believe or don't want to believe in this problem.

Don't get me wrong, many people are contributing to a better world at the moment. It's just not enough, we all need to take action. If we don't come together on this we might as well do nothing...

With this series I've tried to make this need to act soon visible. The water is coming up to my neck (it's a self portrait) while the sun is setting behind the dark stormy clouds. Time is slowly running out and I'm just standing there.

Showing my concern for this issue with rising sea water has a nice literal link to the problem, but that's not all. I live next to the sea so it plays a big part in my life. For example when I want to go to a big city like Amsterdam, I need to drive through a seven kilometer long tunnel underneath the Western Scheldt or take a boat. The province is even called 'Zeeland' (=Sealand) and our motto is 'Luctor et Emergo' which translates to 'I struggle and emerge'. I called the series 'Luctor et' because we are struggling at the moment, but it's still an open ending. Will human civilisation emerge? or will we drown?

The complete series exists out of 129 photos.

I've also made an video of the images playing one by one like a stop-motion animation. With the following link and password you can watch the video:

password: LuctorEt129

{{ readMoreButton }}

PhMuseum Days 2023 Open Call

Apply now for 4 Exhibitions at PhMuseum Days 2023 plus a 40-image collective installation, free applicants pass, and more

Apply now