Man and Earth (Latin America and the Caribbean Chapter) by Brazilian photographer Marcio Pimenta, is a deeply perceptive and humanistic examination of the climate crisis, specifically, its rapidly intensifying impact on the people and landscapes of Latin America and the Caribbean.
“In times of climatic emergency, evidence from the scientific community and the daily lives of different peoples of the world points to significant tensions in various systems essential to humanity – in particular, the interrelationship between basic resources: energy, water, and food. It is certain that climate change will put further pressure on these relations.
I chose to document the climate crisis from the perspective of history and geography. The identity of a people is not dissociated from culture, politics, historical process, and place. We need to understand how geography is in the order of everyday life, so it is important to record images that are a repository of human memories. The human condition: how do we get water, energy, and food in each place and how do these practices connect regionally and globally?
“Man and Earth – Latin America and the Caribbean Chapter” is a documentary and artistic exploration. A long-term project, (which is underway) as well as the results and impacts of climate change that aims to research, witness, and document an important issue in a time of climate emergency: the relationship between human beings and geography (this is, climate, natural resources, borders, sources of energy, food, cultural identities, economy, and space) in a time of complex transition that is also reflected in everyday life, especially of people who will suffer from climate change before they can adapt.
Stories of rupture, loss of geographical and cultural reference, but also of the search for survival and resilience: those who refuse to abandon the land. Of the people who inhabit and give meaning to landscapes and who also live a daily life that has already been shaken by the consequences of climate change. The temporal issue is highlighted because it is a past of exploring nature in the name of profit, which is in the order of the present day and which points to possibilities for the future. How much time do we have to correct our destiny? If human experience builds time, as demonstrated by Eric Hobsbawm, then positive changes must already be visible today, and learning from these people based on the symbiotic relationship they establish with nature, is a path of reflection and action, something photographs can contribute to by giving visibility to these processes.
Since January 2018, I have traveled across the continent documenting this relationship. They are simple and, at the same time, dense images: a man harvesting wood; boys playing in a river in the Amazon; a vast desert, farmers expanding production; the spatial flow of migrants. Experiences of all kinds: our history with our geography.
I hope that the result of this project will be used for anthropological, sociological, economic, geographical, historical, aesthetic, and pedagogical purposes that can be seen on a map, as an atlas to be opened and explored.
Discover the rest of the series and more of Marcio’s work via his website.