Cristina De Middel and Bruno Morais

/Greenpeace Photo Award

With the rise of industry humanity ushered in a new geological age, the anthropocene. In this epoch man ascends to the position of supreme influencer of the biological, geological, and atmospheric processes of the planet. Human dominion over nature has now become the biggest threat to our survival. Species extinction and loss of biodiversity are advancing rapidly and anthropogenic climate change is causing an accumulation of extreme weather events and temperature records.

Despite a cascade of catastrophic symptoms the Western model of growth and prosperity continues to serve many countries of the global South as a blueprint. Africa craves growth and after centuries of exploitation has become the most important market for cheap goods and electronic products loaded with toxic substances. Meanwhile, African countries never got around to building adequate waste disposal and recycling systems to handle this sudden influx. Cristina de Middel and Bruno Morais are interested in how such macro-economic processes are playing out in the everyday life of Africans. In Mozambique they are planning to stage photographic images from a range of closely linked subjects: the excesses of consumption and exploitation in areas such as mining, global (over)fisheries, mass tourism, and energy(waste). De Middel and Morais are looking for suitable narratives inspired by African everyday life that reflect the experience of local people—hoping that viewers will come away from these images with a fresh understanding of the impact of an economic model that threatens to destroy both people and the natural world.

Cristina de Middel (1975) was born in Alicante, Spain. Today she lives and works in Uruapan, Mexico. After ten years as a photo journalist she currently devotes most of her efforts to conceptual works. Her series The Afronauts has been exhibited all over the world.

Bruno Morais (..) grew up and works in Rio de Janeiro. He is the founder of Colectivo Pandilla and often uses his photography to promote education and social change. De Middel and Morais first worked together as photographers on a project in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, in 2015. There they discovered their shared fascination with Africa.