- PhMuseum 2022 Photography Grant
Dates2019 - 2021
WAHALA exposes the exploitation mechanisms behind the extraction of fossil fuels and unveils that there is no difference in principle between the destruction of the environment and violence against people. Hinsch's photographs expose the contradictions of the promise of perpetual growth and show how much the system of fossil capitalism groans under its own weight.
This is a unique moment in the history of the earth: that the deep time of the planet intersects with the time horizon of a single species, which thereby rises to become the dominant geological factor itself. Homo sapiens has become so powerful that its rise marks a new Earth Age - the Anthropocene. The lowest/least common denominator of this evolution is carbon dioxide. CO2 is the unit of the human age. As a colorless and odorless molecule, human senses cannot perceive it. This is the first dimension of the invisibility of the crisis: not being able to see. The second dimension is self-chosen: It has to do with global power relations and the mechanisms of capitalist exploitation. Here, the majority society, which profits from the burning of cheap raw materials, chooses to suppress the consequences. This is the not wanting to see. This is where the work of Hamburg-based photographer Robin Hinsch comes in. For WAHALA he traveled to the places where oil and gas, lignite and hard coal are brought to the surface. These places are located both at the center of global extraction capitalism and on its periphery. Central, because from here come the fuels of the global economy that power everything. Peripheral because they are sacrificed areas: Areas where long-term damage to the environment and people is accepted because it enables profits elsewhere. WAHALA shows that the apocalypse has already begun there, even if it is made easy for consumers not to see it. The brutality of these places rarely makes it into consciousness. For the people in Robin Hinsch's pictures, however, they are everyday life.