Raw Truth Plastic
Royal Goegraphic Society, London, 2017
Two parallel worlds, many thousands of miles apart, and each with its own particular relationship with the material which has rapidly come to define the modern age: plastic.
On one side, the remnants of a Festival depict an almost apocalyptic scene: piles of garbage, dirt fields scattered with crushed plastic bottles, bags, balloons, single use cups, and cheap, disposable furniture. A column of polystyrene fast food containers piled high, emerging triumphantly from a packed litter bin, while the bright lights of the festival’s famous music scene beam away in the background.
On the other, the lush greenery of rural Africa. An elderly lady pours water from a small stream into a number of large plastic carrying containers. A child thrusts a dirty plastic bottle, covered in grit but very much intact, towards the camera. And, in the larger urban centres, enormous landfills surrounded by circling birds show where many single use plastics end up on the continent, entire streets packed to bursting with colourful bags full of plastic waste.