A whole decade has passed since I first met Simon Fisher, a veteran BBC journalist, in Wales. He was my mentor for the couple of months I spent as a Reuters Foundation Fellow at Cardiff University studying the ‘science’ of new media. Little did I know that life would bring us together all these years later in the city he loves and chose to be his home.
As the founder and curator of Rio de Janeiro’s latest and coolest photo gallery Simon invited me to exhibit my favorite images I’ve taken about water. The following selection covers 11 countries over the past 5 years and will be exhibited from July 15 for three months at Galeria Guerrilha, situated on the famous Escadaria Selarón (Selarón Stairs), in the heart of Rio’s Lapa neighborhood, as part of FotoRio, the city’s largest biannual photo festival.
From July 15
Escadaria Selarón, 34, Lapa
By appointment only! For more please email Simon at email@example.com.
For those who cannot make the show, here is what you would find on the walls:
One of the most popular in New Zealand’s Fjordland National Park, Milford Sound is a breathtaking spectacle of untouched landscape. Although the whole country is well-known for its pristine nature and plentiful water resources the majority of its water systems are becoming increasingly polluted due to agricultural run-off and mismanagement by the influential dairy industry.
Climate change has become a major issue in Australia in recent years. Much of the country’s population appears to be losing its traditional water sources due to an increase in population in urban areas coupled with persistent drought.
Nowhere is the sense of crisis more visible than on the outskirts of Las Vegas at Lake Mead, the nation’s largest manmade reservoir, fed by the Colorado River. According to researchers there is 50 percent chance Lake Mead, a key source of water for millions of people in the southwestern United States, will be dry by 2021 if climate changes as expected and future water usage is not curtailed.
Rocinha, Rio’s largest and most vibrant favela, hosts an estimated 250,000 of the city’s over one million slum dwellers. The rapid and chaotic urbanization process in Brazil led to often uncontrolled metropolitan growth and many consequent problems in huge cities like Rio de Janeiro. The lack of housing, safe water and sanitation networks, and proper plumbing were only a few of them.
NATO troops tend to drink nothing but bottled water resulting in a business modestly worth more than $100 million. A decade since the fall of the Taliban, the bottled water market has grown from virtually nothing into a thriving business making plastic water bottles a nearly ubiquitous sight in the war-torn country.
More than a hundred thousand people were forced to settle in makeshift refugee camps after the Pakistani army started a series of operations against Taliban insurgents. One of the most crucial challenges aid agencies and the government face is to provide adequate water supply and sanitation facilities to the newly arrived.
Due to climatic conditions and high per capita income the UAE is already one of the largest water consuming countries in the world. Shopping centers and luxury hotels are built with vast and lavish water features, sprinklers pump desalinated water on golf courses that evaporates before it touches the ground while underground aquifers are being pumped dry in the region.
Italians are one of the leading consumers of bottled water in the world. Venice’s tap water comes from deep underground in the same region as one of Italy’s most popular bottled waters. The city of Venice has begun to rebrand its tap water, calling it Acqua Veritas, in an attempt to turn both residents and tourists away from bottled water.
As the population increased, the demand for water grew exponentially but as the country does not have landfills to collect waste, burning plastic bottles and garbage in the Maldives is still an accepted practice.
The Kosi River burst its embankment in Nepal flooding most of Bihar, one of India’s poorest states. Finding its original course, the river devastated land and displaced millions.
The rapid and chaotic urbanization process in Brazil led to often uncontrolled metropolitan growth and many consequent problems in huge cities like Rio de Janeiro. The lack of housing, safe water and sanitation networks, and proper plumbing were only a few of them.
A sludge reservoir at a nearby factory burst its banks, unleashing a lethal flood of nearly 200 million gallons of red mud, a byproduct of manufacturing aluminum. Eight people were killed and more than 100 were injured.
Unable to provide for his family, he tried to hang himself after his wife left him, taking his children. He survived because his sister found and saved him in time. Drought in India, and competition with industry over scarce water resources, has driven thousands of farmers facing debt to commit suicide in recent years.
This area used to be flooded regularly by the nearby river, but it is now almost completely dry. As a consequence of the decade-long Australian drought Bob sold a large part of his livestock as he could neither grow nor buy feed to sustain them. An alarming number of farmers without a future choose suicide to escape their troubles.
Tags: exhibition, galeria guerrilha, rio de janeiro, simon fisher