Between October 2015 and March 2016, citizens, scientists and students were asked to upload their visual findings on local aspects of global change. 78 pictures taken by 53 photographers were finally submitted. They show the diversity of change on all continents, but also demonstrate the visibility of the most pressing issues on Earth.

In an anonymous process, a three-headed jury selected three winning photographs and their accompanying texts that convinced most in terms of message and originality.

DiciembreOndarretaOne of the winners is the 31-year-old Margoth González Woge from Mexico who is currently living in Donostia-San Sebastián in Spain. Her picture “Our extended summer“ looks like holiday: Playing ball at the beach, the sea in azure blue and a green island in the background. Margoth initially took this picture for Facebook to show her friends abroad how hot it can be in the North of the country just before Christmas. “It’s true, climate change affects us all, but in very different ways. Such a paradise-like day seems to be so far away from those who are facing adaptation challenges and environmental vulnerability. This picture could make us think about what climate justice means and stands for”, says the PhD student who is writing her thesis in Philosophy of Technology.

3Water scarcity and the necessity to adapt in improvised ways is represented by the picture “The Waterway” by Rafael Rodrigues Camargo. The 28-year-old Brazilian discovered the self-made construction of intertwined pipes, tubes and valves in Greece, first attracted by curiosity. “Now I think they are a funny portrayal of the complexity it may take to give access to water, which is something we never think about in our daily life”, says the speleologist and environmental consultant who is studying environmental planning in Berlin.

5Rafael’s second winning picture titled ”Don’t look just at us!“ was taken during a field trip to Brazil and shows a herd of cattles on a fattening farm to gain weight. It addresses the conflict between increasing world population and rising demand for food as well as limited resources and environmental impacts. “This photo can mean different things for different people, depending on their philosophical position. Many argue that agricultural intensification can help to spare land for forest conservation and reforestation, mitigating climate change. Others argue that consumerism is one of the major drivers of negative global change, and dietary shifts are a key solution to mitigate massive conversion of forests to pastures. I guess there is no straightforward answer.” When looking at images the viewer has to find an own position.

The IRI THESys thanks all participants for their wonderful contributions!