I love the work I do. Exploring different parts of this planet, getting to know the cultures that live there and getting a sense of understanding how people live in various corners of the world. But I do realise that all that traveling has its impact on the environment that we live in. This is why for every flight I’m not only paying my little share of CO2-tax, I have my commissioner do the same also. I’m aware it’s only a small sacrifice to make, but never the less, it keeps me and the people I work for aware of what we are doing with the world. That’s why I also find it important to tell stories about the environment, show images of the impact that we as human beings have on the surroundings that we live in.
Fishing for plastic
Coming to Ghana for a story on a children’s home in Sunyani, I had some time to spend on the beach as well. Enjoying my early morning walks, I was captivated by the stir of fishermen on the beach. Preparing their boats and nets, I saw them drinking their water from little plastic bags they can buy for as little as five cents. All that plastic though ends up in the ocean they use to earn their livelihood. What surprised me is that they weren’t surprised just mildly annoyed when their fishing nets would be filled with plastic later that day.
Greenpeace to Taksim
In 2013 I had the opportunity to shadow Kumi Naidoo - director of Greenpeace international back then - while working in Istanbul. He was there for an environmental conference and some demonstrations that went along with it. At the same time Turkey was in some turbulence with riots and demonstrations at Taksim square. With the headquarters of Greenpeace Turkey around the corner of the square, of course a visit couldn’t be missed.
By seeing the possibilities in beach combing for plastic, driftwood and all sorts of other materials, this foundation has creates working places for volunteers but also for people that otherwise would not be able to work for whatever reason. By doing so, they are working for a cleaner environment and at the same time finding the raw materials to create new products they sell to endorse the foundation. For Jutters Geluk I shot a reportage of their work, which was shown during a larger exhibition on their daily work.
Garbage in Kathmandu
Dopper is a Dutch conscious company creating reusable waterbottels. Their foundation asked me and 3 colleague storytellers to document stories of water in Nepal. As the country has the biggest reserve of fresh water per capita in the world, it’s quite shocking to realise that a large part of the Nepali still have no excess to clean drinking water. The subjects in our story wasn’t only water though. As the main goal of the company is to reduce the use of single use water bottles, the story of waste was equally important.