Man and Earth

Marcio Pimenta

2018 - Ongoing

In times of climatic emergency, evidence from the scientific community and the daily lives of different peoples of the world points to significant tensions in various systems essential to humanity – in particular the interrelationship between basic resources: energy, water and food. It is certain that climate change will put further pressure on these relations.

I chose to document the climate crisis from the perspective of history and geography. The identity of a people is not dissociated from culture, politics, historical process and place. We need to understand how geography is in the order of everyday life, so it is important to record images that are a repository of human memories. The human condition. How do we get water, energy and food in each place and how do these practices connect regionally and globally?

The significant tensions between these key systems will increase. The so-called "stress nexus" is under greater pressure with the climate crisis caused by human activities on Earth and which defines a period known as the Anthropocene, when the technical capacity for transforming nature gains proportions so profound that it contributes to the stress that images can already reveal. “It can be said that the entire surface of the Earth is compartmentalized, not only by the direct action of man, but also by the political presence. No fraction of the planet escapes its influence”, Milton Santos, geographer, 2004.

"Man and The Earth – Latin America and the Caribbean Chapter" is a documentary and artistic exploration. A long-term project, which is underway - as well as the results and impacts of climate change - and which aims to research, witness and document an important issue in times of climate emergency: the relationship between human beings and geography, this is, climate, natural resources, borders, sources of energy, food, cultural identities, economy and space, in a time of complex transition that is also reflected in everyday life, especially of people who will suffer from climate change before they can adapt . Stories of rupture, loss of geographical and cultural reference, but also of the search for survival and resilience that refuses to abandon the land, the shelter territory of many, as Milton Santos also says. Of the people who inhabit and give meaning to landscapes and who also live a daily life that has already been shaken by the consequences of climate change. The temporal issue is highlighted, because it is a past of exploring nature in the name of profit, which is in the order of the present day and which points to possibilities for the future. How much time do we have to correct our destiny? If human experience builds time, as demonstrated by Eric Hobsbawm, then positive changes must already be visible today and learning from these people based on the symbiosis relationship they establish with nature is a path of reflection and action that photographs can contribute to giving visibility to these processes.

Since January 2018, I have traveled across the continent documenting this relationship. They are simple and, at the same time, dense images: a man harvesting wood, boys playing in a river in the Amazon, a vast desert, coal mining for energy generation, new sources of energy, farmers expanding production, the spatial flow of migrants, workers clearing forests in response to the global economic situation, rural migrants who dream of cities whose stories they are unaware of, etc. Experiences of all kinds, our history with our geography.

I hope that the result of this project will be used for anthropological, sociological, economic, geographical, historical, aesthetic and pedagogical purposes that can be seen on a map, as an atlas to be opened and explored. Mass production is expected (currently, I have more than 300 selected photos). I hope to complete this project in 2021.

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