New book ‘Disturbed Ecologies: Photography, Geopolitics, and the Northern Landscape in the Era of Environmental Crisis’ published –by Darcy White (SHU), Chris Goldie (SHU) and Julia Peck (University of Gloucestershire)
Darcy White (Sheffield Hallam University), Chris Goldie (Sheffield Hallam University) and Julia Peck (University of Gloucestershire) have had a new book published this March.
The book, Disturbed Ecologies: Photography, Geopolitics, and the Northern Landscape in the Era of Environmental Crisis, has been published by Transcript Publishing.
About the book
From its inception the ‘Northern Light Research Project’ (founded by White in 2015) has investigated the ways in which photographic images have addressed notions of a Northern landscape, from a global perspective, through a dialogue between theoretical approaches and photographic practice. This resulted in the publication of two previous anthologies, and the convening of two international conferences and two exhibitions of photography, hosted at SHU. Current and recent research builds on this work.
A third anthology – White, D., Peck, J. and Goldie, C., 2023, Disturbed Ecologies: Photography, Geopolitics, and the Northern Landscape in the Era of Environmental Crisis, Transcript Verlag. – presents critical writing from photographers, artists, curators and theorists discussing the role of images in addressing the geopolitics of environmental devastation. Essays engage with recent debates about the Anthropocene and the need to identify the socioeconomic and political causes of climate change, questioning the validity of images within which ecological crisis is seen as the consequence of undifferentiated human activity. It is argued that in the context of an environmental crisis, photography and its related practices can be part of an emancipatory project, challenging techno-utopian solutions and envisioning alternative possibilities for sustaining life on this planet.
White’s individual chapter – On Getting ‘in the way of the world’: the work of Helene Schmitz and the urgency of decolonising the Western gaze – is based on an original study and critical analysis of the representation and framing of the Climate and Ecological Emergency in the large-scale photographic work of Swedish artist Helene Schmitz. White argues that Schmitz’s work successfully details examples of large-scale industrial extraction across the Nordic region – responsible for profound environmental damage with global impacts – but does so within the comfortable confines of a Anthropocenic sublime aesthetic visual language, stopping short of offering a meaningful challenge to such industry.
‘Disturbed Ecologies’ was launched during an event hosted at the university of Gloucestershire on Monday 22 May. The themes of the book were explored during a panel discussion led by Darcy White, Julia Peck and Chris Goldie, and included several other authors of chapters published in the anthology. They were also joined by Dutch photographer Dana Lixenberg, winner of the Deutsche Börse photography Foundation Prize 2017. During the event she discussed her work – The Last Days of Shishmaref (2008) – which was the subject of one of the chapters in ‘Disturbed Ecologies’.
For more information about the book please visit the Transcript Publishing website here.