Photo exhibition portrays stark reality of climate change

An online photo exhibition with new daily additions is available from the World Council of Churches for media and member churches worldwide beginning 9 November.

Through photos by Sean Hawkey, a British photographer who has worked extensively on the ecumenical movement and climate change, we learn the stories of people like Oscar Alexis Maldonado Ramírez, portrayed riding his horse, “Palomo,” along a stretch of the Rio Nacaome. 

“We’re in the middle of the river, in the middle of what was the river—it shouldn’t be like this should it?” asks Ramírez. “Even when it rains, which is rare now, the water disappears quickly, the crops fail without irrigation, but now the wells keep drying up so we can’t irrigate. I’ve just taken my cattle away; they can’t survive here without water. In fact we can’t survive here without water.”

The first day, “Drought” depicts how communities in Nicaragua and Honduras are facing loss of livestock, dying crops, and water scarcity.

Five more days of new photo collections will become available as well, expanding the repertoire of stories and images.

As media discussions around COP26 tend to focus on peripheral details of the negotiations, it is easy to forget what climate change is about for ordinary people around the world, particularly the poorest, said a concerned Rev. James Bhagwan, general secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches.

“These images remind us of the devastating impacts of climate change, and how dangerous it is for all of us if we don’t act now,” he said. “Let’s not lose sight of the reality of climate chaos. We call on negotiators to agree on urgent and concrete actions to curb greenhouse gas emissions.”

Click here to visit the exhibition (daily updates 9 – 14 November)

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