1 / 5       From the exhibition Kiribati. © Vlad Sokhin/Cosmos/Panos Pictures.
2 / 5       From the exhibition Kiribati. © Vlad Sokhin/Cosmos/Panos Pictures.
3 / 5       During the visit to the exhibition Kiribati by Vlad Sokhin. © Stefania Biamonti/FPmag.
4 / 5       During the visit to the exhibition Kiribati by Vlad Sokhin. © Stefania Biamonti/FPmag.
5 / 5       During the inauguration of the exhibition Kiribati bt Vlad Sokhin. © Stefania Biamonti/FPmag.

A lost paradise

There is much talk of the effects of climate change on our planet. And just as often as to how to act upon it to safeguard the future of next generations. In the wake of the interest generated by the big international meetings, we discuss, we confront, and sometimes we personally put ourselves on the line, adhering to campaigns in favour of environmental sustainability or trying to change small habits and everyday behaviour. In other words, we try to implement timid strategies of self-defence «for the good of our children», because the picture scientists and environmentalists propose to us is so scary now as to make the pulse race to even the less sensitive on the subject. Then you find yourself standing in front of a work such as Kiribati by Vlad Sokhin and discover that what you tended to perceive as a grim possibility is already, in fact, a reality that is more than tangible in some parts of the world.
In ten years Kiribati will no longer exist. According to the gloomier predictions, because of rising seas and the effect that this will have, the islands that make up this small island state of Oceania will in fact literally be gobbled up by the Pacific Ocean. There are no more barriers or human infrastructures able to stem the invasion of water, no viable solution if not to start thinking about where to transfer the local population when this will happen. Amid aerial views and discouraging details of an environment seriously threatened by salt and water – bitter visual counterpoints in a landscape otherwise closer to the idea of earthly paradise –, the images of the Russian-Portuguese photographer show the effects of our neglect towards the world which hosts us, often lingering on the faces and habits of the very young. They are now called the last generation: in all probability their children will increase the ranks of the so-called environmental refugees. Kiribati is a lost paradise.
Also thanks to the complicity of the cuts of framing and the striking green-blue shades of sea and sky, the work lives of an iconographic layout aesthetically appealing, which, however, does not limit itself to please the eye. The project is based on a thorough investigation merged with images constructed with intelligence and in a significant textual setup, in full journalistic style, that the exhibition proposed in Siem Reap reports in both English and in the Khmer language. Pity then for the choice of lighting for the opening evening, which compromised the reading of the texts and of the images themselves, forcing us to return the next day. [ S. B. ]

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KIRIBATI
by Vlad Sokhin
Riverside Gardens | December, 5th 2015 - January, 5th 2016
admission fee: free

– – –

[ INTERNAL RESOUCES ]
Angkor Photo Festival & Workshops on FPmag
Exhibitions and screenings

[ video ] A yearlong search: interview with Françoise Callier
[ video ] Interview with Jean-Yves Navel

[ EXTERNAL RESOURCES ]
Vlad Sokhin
Angkor Photo Festival & Workshops

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published on 2015-12-11 in NEWS / EXHIBITIONS

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