Artists at the Netherlands Pavilion|

Kadir van Lohuizen

 

“The question is not whether sea levels will rise by one, two or three metres, but when.”

About the artist

Kadir van Lohuizen documents the impact of human activity on our planet and its climate. Innovative methods of food production methods can either provide part of the solution or exacerbate the problems.

Soviet scientists appear to have used the term Anthropocene back in the 1960s. Ecologist Eugene Stoermer is widely credited for introducing it in the West, where it was popularised in 2000 by atmospheric chemist Paul Crutzen. Although not officially recognised as a geological era, the Anthropocene is a suitable descriptor for the last century or so, in which human activity – industry, mining, logging, construction and transport – has permanently and noticeably altered the Earth’s surface, ecology and even climate.

The effects of the climate crisis are the subject of Kadir van Lohuizen’s photo series Rising Tide. Van Lohuizen travelled to Greenland, Miami, New York, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Fiji, Jakarta, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, Panama and the UK to talk to and portray coastal dwellers, as well as the policy makers trying to protect their living environment. Rising Tide presents the human stories behind the data on melting ice sheets, salinisation of agricultural land and disappearing islands.

COVID-19 travel restrictions forced Van Lohuizen to stay closer to home for his most recent project. It focuses on food production in the Netherlands, which, despite its modest size and high population density, is the world’s second largest agricultural exporter. Dutch agriculture is heavily automated and industrialised. Zero-grazing livestock farming, vertical vegetable cultivation, aquaponic fish farming and other innovations have greatly increased the yield per hectare. However, these industrial production methods also have ecological and public health drawbacks.

The recent zoonotic pandemic has really driven home the disastrous effects of human interference in ecology. This is why Van Lohuizen, who started out reporting on civil wars and other armed conflicts, has concentrated on environmental issues in recent years. It’s not a war between humans that will be the end of us, but rather the war between humans and nature.

Photo credits: Kadir van Lohuizen, Stanley Green – NOOR

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