2020: the "climatic" year for photography

Things are changing in a very fast manner especially into the environmental context. The demographic pressure of the last two or three decades is pushing profound physical and psychological transformations around and inside us. And we can add without much risk that it will be the same for the years to come.

It may be because that we are entering in a real globalization of human activities without any opting-out still available and it brings a lot of frustration among people that are afraid of the changes to come. But with that inevitable fact in view, many individuals and collectivities are trying to avoid it by building new physical frontiers that will simply crack up under the necessity of the human Mondial needs in living in this planet.

Further than that, the human presence is directly affecting our surrounding in the air, in the water, on and in our soil. The climatic changes are the consequence of our environmental pillage provoked by our gradual territory invasion. The so-call « natural » (unspoiled) habitat is now, at least, a think of the past and, at most, a old fantasy for some. Many animals and vegetal species have already paid the extinction price of the human territory expansion and transformation.

On the photographic point of view, most pictures presently done will not be easily reproduceable if not completely impossible to redo as everything is mutating in a fast pace. Even the « nature » of humanity is now largely different from what we have seen in a recent past, let say twenty or twenty-five years ago, since the event of the popular Internet availability.

Documenting visually our civilization evolution can be the next primary task as many references of today or yesterday have a tendency to evaporate in a short lap of time. The big challenge will be how we will be able to transmit into the future generations of the next decades and the next centuries all those images. Hardcopy prints are may still be the surest way to do it again knowing that digital archives can be lost easily or, more important, they can be no more accessible because of the technological changes.

Can we reinterpret the « Family of Man » exhibit (***) sixty-five years later? Can we produce a planetary photo album of our humanity that will be available to everybody of this world as a sounding testimony of the human diversity but also about its profound closeness? Yes, our body envelop can be very different, but our soul is common to all. Photography can transcend superficiality to project the inner expression of our feeling, our understanding and our hopes.

Because today more than ever we need more photographic authenticity which is opposing the actual tendency to artificially mask it or recreate it. We need to preserve « what we are seeing » instead of « what we want see ». Yes, there is still a place for personal interpretation of realities recorded because we cannot avoid the obvious difference of perceptions. But integrity, honesty and respect have to be the guide of our human photo quest.

Inspired by the great photo documentarists, the photojournalists and the street photographers, many of us may assigned themselves to record and share this human interest about the faces, the activities, the moods, the relations and their ecological surrounding. Curiosity can guide us to new perspectives. Studies of the past can generate a search for new interpretations of our present realities. Different image interpretations can help to up-come new ideas and analysis.

A new « climatic » year for photography should be the opportunity to refocus ourselves about the integrity of ourselves regarding our world’s surrounding.