We believe in creating visual archives of a planet which is changing so fast.
We believe in photographing the human history in an accelerated globalizing process, the environmental changes,the extinction of the species, the disappearance of tribes ,cultural values and traditional ways of living.
We believe in portraying the forgotten, in portraying the vanishing world.
Javier Sanchez-Monge Escardo
The story that follows corresponds to a story of love and friendship with a group of Cambodian scavengers that I portrayed over 3 years and throughout which I became a part of their lives, managing to remain invisible while on work.
Many times I stayed where they stayed, lived as they lived , ate what they ate, helped them with their scavenging tasks and managed to bring them donations, all of which helped me to became one more of them and well accepted by their community.
Although my original idea was to document and draw awareness on their lives as well as trying to portray them with dignity, I thought that the initial photojournalistic perspective didn't discard an artistic one.
These thoughts gave birth to the idea of portraying them following the aesthetical conception in which the Barbizon school of painters in France (1830-1870) depicted the daily scenes of peasants.
When I first committed myself to the nature of this long term project and which implied the intention of portraying with dignity as well as in an artistic way the lives of children who led their extremely hard lives as members of a scavenger community in Cambodia, many not only felt discouraged but also didn't think that was possible; it was as if somehow that beauty couldn't be captured because it simply didn't exist, as if somehow the poverty and sadness stigma would always be present in those images. Today, and after three years of having followed the lives of the children of a dumpsite, I cannot say that this is true; sometimes there is beauty, happiness, dignity and color within poverty, sometimes there is art within devastation.
The Anthropocene marks the dawn of a new Era for humanity and the planet, a new
geological period in which human made activities have made permanent changes to the surface of the planet and are hold responsible for the mass extinction of plant and animal species, water and land pollution and climate change.
Unaware that not so long ago the planet used to be different, the children of the Anthropocene play and live in an apocalyptic legacy, in a world of waste, polluted waters and almost non-existing trees or birds. Unknowingly as well, and probably -if given a choice-unwillingly, they represent the modern estranged relation between the human beings and nature, which has already reached the point of no return.
They sail on imagined rivers, climb on imagined mountains and get lost in imagined forests. They imagine nonexistent animals, nonexistent flowers, and a world which no longer is…..they are the offspring of the Anthropocene.
Plastic pollution involves the accumulation of plastic products in the environment that adversely affects wildlife, wildlife habitat, or humans. Plastics that act as pollutants are categorized into micro-, meso-, or macrodebris, based on size. The prominence of plastic pollution is correlated with plastics being inexpensive and durable, which lends to high levels of plastics used by humans. However, it is slow to degrade. Plastic pollution can unfavorably affect lands, waterways and oceans. Living organisms, particularly marine animals, can also be affected through entanglement, direct ingestion of plastic waste, or through exposure to chemicals within plastics that cause interruptions in biological functions
This long-term project analyzes the human being-environmental relationship by exposing
the path that follows the sustainable fishing communities which are capable of making a
sustainable living without causing damages to the environment and the opposing path of
ambition, which leads from sustainable fishing to commercial fishing, in which the main
goal of the primitive fishing communities ,consisting in subsistence and survival, is
traded by the ambitious greed for huge profits leading to commercial fishing.
The series "Into the trance state" represents the deep states of trance undergone by the mediums at the Nine Emperor Gods festival, which takes place every year in Asia. The Gods will travel through the seas and possess the human mediums who will be waiting for them at the temples or shrines disposed before the sea. At their arrival, the mediums possessed by the Gods will fall in and out of a deep state of trance and perform feats which defy human logic, such as walking over fire, or perform acts of self mutilation, all to show the supernatural power of the Gods.
Rostros de la India.
Impact faces from India.
© Javier Sanchez-Monge Escardo