When the Sea Comes - PHmuseum

When the Sea Comes

Alice de Kruijs

2019 - Ongoing

Rising sea levels due to climate change have severe consequences for coastal populations and ecosystems all around the world.

Understanding sea-level rise is important for low-lying countries such as the Netherlands. It is of specific the interest for vulnerable ecological and morphodynamic regions, such as the Wadden Sea UNESCO World Heritage region.

The Netherlands is famous for its polders and dikes. We are known as that industrious little nation on the North Sea that has successfully kept the sea at bay for centuries. But the sea that we have been fighting for our entire history was not increasing in volume. This situation is now being seriously disrupted by warming seawater and melting glaciers and ice caps, leading to a slow but steady sea level rise.

Many portraits were taken during my trip to Ameland, a relative small Island in the Wadden sea who is already experiencing the consequences of global warming.

I added a post processing technique by printing the photos and cover them with flowers. The flowers have a symbolic value expressing protection and purity. All flowers are originally from The Netherlands and belong to our unique bio diversity.

After viewing many old photos I found out the number of red haired inhabitant living on the Dutch islands is very large. Therefore I choose all models with natural red hair.

There are also old postcard implemented in the serie. During my research period I realised the importance of integrating the old postcards as they represent a time where global warming wasn't crucial. The difference from reality and the postcards will only become larger as the sea is continuing rising.

After my research and visiting different delta areas in The Netherlands one thing is certain:, we no longer hold our future in our own hands. We are directly dependent on the success or failure of current international climate policy for our continued existence. And because it is very uncertain whether that policy will really achieve results, experts warn that we as a country must have a fully-fledged plan that also considers the possibility that the Netherlands may not make it and that identifies our alternative options.

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