– 22nd June 2018 –
With only a few more days to run, the World Press Photo Exhibition 2018 is an amazing collection of photos from around the world. Now in its 61st year, the competition has attracted 73,044 photos from over 4,500 photographers from 125 countries.
I was drawn to photos in the Nature and Environment Categories and in particular photos showing how people are being impacted by climate change.
Climate Change has a huge impact on women and girls from developing countries. Unpredictable weather patterns may see flash flooding in local rivers. Because of strict conservative Islamic culture and the absence of modest swimwear, girls are discouraged from learning how to swim. When a flood event happens, it is disproportionately women and girls who drown. Here in Zanzibar, the Panje Project (pange translates as ‘big fish’) is providing opportunities for women and girls to acquire swimming skills in full-length swimsuits. The plastic containers give them confidence in the water.
In the wake of the 2004 tsunami, an Oxfam report found that surviving men outnumbered women by almost 3:1 in Sri Lanka, Indonesia and India. During flood conditions, women not only unable to swim and have garments that make it very difficult to run and climb trees, they also (naturally) spend precious minutes looking after the children and older relatives for whom they care.
I love this photo because the girls look so peaceful. Their eyes are shut and they are floating. Meditating? This is probably the first time they have been water deeper than their knees. I can imagine their clothing would be dragging on them and can only hope that the fabric is light.
Slàinte – Colleen