L'ultima illusione

1 / 10       Asia, Mongolia. © Alessandro Grassani.
In the photo, 29-year-old Erdene Tuya hauls a sheep lost for the dzud to a small burial ground close to their yurt (gher). In Mongolia's Arkhangai province, the Tsamba family lives on the edge, struggling through harsh winters alongside their herd of sheep. Severe winter conditions, known as Dzud, have been responsible for the deaths of half the family's once 2,000-strong herd over the past three winters. Recently, in search of warmer pastures, the Tsambas moved from Bulgan province in the north to this region near a central Mongolian village called Ulziit. Only in 2010, during one of the harsher Dzuds, more than 8 million sheep, cows, horses and camels died in Mongolia so around 20.000 herdsmen had no choice but to migrate towards Ulan Bator.
2 / 10       Bangladesh, Dhaka. © Alessandro Grassani.
The city is considered to be the fastest-growing city in the world. Dhaka has a population of 14 million which is expected to increase to 50 million by 2050. Dhaka has over 300,000 newcomers entering the city each year, most of them are environmental migrants.
3 / 10       Kenya, Turkana County, Lobei village. © Alessandro Grassani.
Loduung Elimlin, a 50 years old shepherd from the Turkana tribe, photographed with his machine-gun. He’s been involved in many fights with the neighbouring Pokot tribe for the control over the limited quantity of grazing land and water supplies. He’s been shot off twice; the first time on his hand (he’s lost two fingers), the second time on his arm.
4 / 10       Bangladesh, Dhaka. © Alessandro Grassani.
View of Kawran bazar slum where hundreds of people live alongside the railway lines.
5 / 10       Asia, Mongolia. © Alessandro Grassani.
Erdene Tuya together with her 3 years old son called Tuvchinj (he hugs a young sheep which sleeps with them) just wake up. In Mongolia's Arkhangai province, the Tsamba family lives on the edge, struggling through harsh winters alongside their herd of sheep. Severe winter conditions, known as Dzud, have been responsible for the deaths of half the family's once 2,000-strong herd over the past three winters. Recently, in search of warmer pastures, the Tsambas moved from Bulgan province in the north to this region near a central Mongolian village called Ulziit. Only in 2010, during one of the harsher Dzuds, more than 8 million sheep, cows, horses and camels died in Mongolia so around 20.000 herdsmen had no choice but to migrate towards Ulan Bator.
6 / 10       Kenya, Nairobi. © Alessandro Grassani.
A view of the slum of Kibera where many environmental migrants fleeing their lands because of climate changes and drought go to live. According to a study by UNHABITAT, about 74% of environmental migrants living in Nairobi arrived between 1991 and 2008, in conjunction with the embitterment of weather conditions, drought, and floods that constantly hit Kenya’s rural areas.
7 / 10       Bangladesh, Satkhira district. © Alessandro Grassani.
Mr. Anisuzzaman together with some neighbours outside his home in the village of Debnagar. Here the river has flooded its banks every year for the past nine years and the people are used to living under floodwater for five months a year.
8 / 10       Asia, Mongolia, Ulan Bator. © Alessandro Grassani.
A man walking on the streets of the Gher District, in the background some modern buildings. In Mongolia half of the population live on top of each other in the capital, which has over one million, two hundred thousand citizens. Half of them live in the slum which have developed around the city known as “Gher district” taking its name from the trditional Mongolian tend called gher and spread all around the city. In the last 20 years, the population of the capital has doubled: this recent environmental migration has brought with it a high level of unemployment, poverty and inhumane social conditions. The Gher district has in fact developed without any urban planning, running water or electricity; so, the herdsmen, forced to abandon the rural areas, arrive in the city after a lifetime spent in the pastures, are untrained to take on any kind of work, and end up living a life of hardship.
9 / 10       Kenya, Turkana Region. © Alessandro Grassani.
A mass grave where catholic priests of the Saint Paul Mission have buried about a hundred victims of tribal fights for the control over grazing land and water supplies around the Todenyang village. On the cross a notice that says “28 people”: it indicates the number of people that have been buried and that have died in the course of a single ferocious fight.
10 / 10       Seis village, along the Kenyan-Ethiopian border. © Alessandro Grassani.
These villages’ inhabitants are exhausted because of the continuous lack of rainfalls; they have nothing to eat or drink. Elders and children are those who suffer the most from famine and that risk dying because of their poverty. This shot shows a man struggling to stand on his feet and the signs of famine are visible on his skeletal body. In this area, where the Ethiopian Marille tribe lives, tens of animals die on a daily basis because of the absence of rainfalls; plus, fear for tribal fights between the Ethiopian Marille tribe and the Kenian Turkana tribe for the control over the limited quantity of grazing land and water supplies, the drought and the lack of future perspectives led many people leaving the region and immigrate to the slums of Nairobi.
L'ultima illusione

«Raramente il dolore, l’attesa, l’illusione sono stati descritti con immagini così profonde e significative... I migranti ambientali hanno perso tutto e il loro sguardo è nel vuoto, ma conservano un’intima e indistruttibile dignità. Mentre il nostro, di sguardo, che ha la mobilità nevrotica delle cattive coscienze, scivola via. Grassani, ha anche il merito di costringerci a vedere e riflettere. Un grande reportage». Con questa motivazione la giuria dell'undicesima edizione del Premio Amilcare G. Ponchielli, presieduta dal direttore del Corriere della Sera Ferruccio De Bortoli, ha deciso di attribuire il premio dell'edizione al fotoreporter italiano Alessandro Grassani per il lavoro Migranti ambientali: l'ultima illusione.
Iniziato nel 2011, il progetto indaga una delle più drammatiche conseguenze dei cambiamenti climatici sulle popolazioni, cioè il fenomeno della migrazione rurale-urbana. Stando infatti a una previsione delle Nazioni Unite, nel 2050 la Terra dovrà affrontare un’emergenza di circa 200milioni di migranti per cause ambientali che, a differenza del passato, non cercheranno nuove fonti di reddito nei Paesi ricchi e industrializzati, bensì nelle aree urbane già sovraffollate e poverissime delle loro terre d'origine. I primi tre Paesi indagati da Grassani per questo progetto a lungo termine, tuttora in corso, mostrano le conseguenze di diverse forme di cambiamenti climatici: l’estremo freddo in Mongolia, l’innalzamento del livello del mare in Bangladesh e la siccità unita alle guerre tribali per il controllo delle risorse idriche in Kenya. Filo conduttore e cuore pulsante dell'intero lavoro – buona parte della quale verrà esposto a Milano, presso la Galleria Bel Vedere, a partire da giovedì 19 marzo, alle ore 18,00 – sono le testimonianze dei migranti ambientali incontrati dall'autore nelle capitali dei diversi Paesi visitati. Persone costrette ad abbandonare i loro villaggi a causa degli sconvolgimenti dovuti ai cambiamenti climatici, e a migrare altrove nella speranza di assicurarsi una vita migliore. Una speranza che si rivelerà presto la loro ultima illusione.

Migranti ambientali: l'ultima illusione
Bel Vedere Fotografia, via Santa Maria Valle, 5 - Milano
20 marzo – 11 aprile 2015

orario: da martedì a sabato, ore 15,00 - 19,00 | chiuso domenica e lunedì
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pubblicato in data 16-03-2015 in NOTIZIE / MOSTRE

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