Diving Maldives

Edoardo / Giulia Delille / Piermartiri



The Maldives hold the record of the lowest country in the world.

According to data provided by the United Nations, the Maldivian islands, with an average of just half a meter above sea level, might be already partially submerged by water by the end of the century.

It will be the first State in the world to disappear for the consequences of climate change.

The 1200 islands, that make up the archipelago, are most well known for the beaches of their exclusive resorts and for the underwater activities of tourists who come here from all over the world for diving.

The Diving Maldives project is a journey on the islands inhabited just by Maldivians. We have collected a series of typical underwater photos taken by tourists and we have projected them as slides, in the streets and in the houses of the inhabitants of the different islands that we have visited. A real screening but, above all, a metaphorical projection of a not too distant future that looms over their daily lives.

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  • Maafushi, Kaafu Atoll.
    Maafushi has an extension of 0.3 square km with about 3.000 inhabitants.
    It has been heavily damaged by the 2004 tsunami.

  • Ukulhas, Alif Alif Atoll.
    Hassan and Malham, 23 and 28 years old. They are friends since they were kids and whatever the future of the Maldives will be, their dream is to open a restaurant together.

  • Ukulhas, Alif Alif Atoll.
    My husband built this house with his own hands for our family. The idea that one day our children might have to leave it to the sea is like seeing the dream of a life that breaks.” Jeeza, 32 years old.

  • Maafushi, Kaafu Atoll.
    Foktul, 27 years old. He is from Bangladesh and two years ago he decided to move to the Maldives to open his own laundry. Many people from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka come to Maldives to do jobs related to tourism and construction.

  • Villingili, Male Atoll.
    Katey and Shaba with their sons. She teaches chemistry at Muhiydeen school and he is the manager of the youth center in Villingili.
    They decided to invest their time to help the future of young generations.

  • Ukulhas, Alif Alif Atoll.
    Fathmath and Andhey, 35 and 32 years old. She is a housewife and he is a fisherman. They have three children and their dream is to give them a happy life on the island, even if they know that one day they would probably need to leave it.

  • Villingili, Male Atoll.
    Alaia, Ailia and Alvia, triplets, 2 years old.
    Since there was no hospital in the island, her mother lost three children before giving birth to them.
    She hopes that the new government will build new infrastructures on the island and it will be able to stem the rise of the sea.

  • Villingili, Male Atoll.
    Hamid, Aakin, Shany, Aika and Aleen.
    Aakin, after fourteen years as an employee, decided to open his own construction company in Male, the capital of the Maldives.
    “For the future of our children we must change our habits and live in a more sustainable way.”

  • Ukulhas, Alif Alif Atoll.
    Hawwa Hassan, 55 years old. She has 8 sons and 19 nephews.
    As a mother and a grandmother she hopes that the government will works to save the future generations from the flooding of the islands.

  • Villingili, Male Atoll.
    A young boy on his bicycle. In this island only electric scooters and bicycles are allowed.
    In the last years many islands are prohibiting the circulation of motor vehicles.

  • Villingili, Male Atoll.
    A boy playing darts at the youth center.
    In every island there are places like this where young people meet. They can play sports, watch satellite TV and partecipate in conferences about the initiatives for the island’s life.

  • Maafushi, Kaafu Atoll.
    Bipul, 27 years old. He is from Bangladesh and he moved to the Maldives in search of a better future. After many years as an employee, he has opened his own barber salon.
    If one day I will have to leave the island, I’ll bring my salon back to Bangladesh.

  • Maafushi, Kaafu Atoll.
    A group of friends relaxing on a joali fathi, a typical Maldivian hammock. Maafushi has been one of the first islands to build guest houses for low-budget tourism. The new construction were build without any master plan. Young generations are planning increasingly sustainable tourism.

  • Ukulhas, Alif Alif Atoll.
    A little girl jumping on her parent’s bed.
    “I love to swim and I love fishes! One day I would like to be a very good diver to play with them”

  • Ukulhas, Alif Alif Atoll.
    Ukulhas, is the first ecological island in the Maldives. It is well known for its well maintained waste management system.
    Thanks to the reuse of the organic waste, the inhabitants started to grow vegetables inside hydroponic greenhouses.

  • Ukulhas, Alif Alif Atoll.
    The oldest woman on the island with her nephews in front of her home.
    The houses’s walls were traditionally built with dead coral. Now this tradition has been totally lost.
    The debris of death corals are reused to stem the rise of the sea.

  • Villingili island, Male Atoll.
    Mahafooz, 26 years old, with his family. He is attending a course at the University of marine biology.
    The young generation is starting to be interested in the consequences of climate change. Maldivians are fully aware that their country will be the first place in the world to be submerged.

  • Rasdoo island.
    Handcarts, in islands where cars are not allowed, are still the only vehicle to carry goods.

  • Ukulhas, Alif Alif Atoll.
    Playing hide-and-seek through the streets of the island.

  • Ukulhas, Alif Alif Atoll.
    Shaihan Shaheem would like to work as a surf teacher in his island.
    Surfing is not very common in the Maldives, but is becoming increasingly popular among young people.