By Anne-Marie Hoeve | 5 Media


Welcome to scenes from the Anthropocene – the first geological epoch where man has taken over from nature in defining the outcome of the planet. In an epic journey around the world, photographer Edward Burtynsky has crossed countries and continents to capture the colossal impact of our actions.

There is a strangely serene beauty to this series of photos that is entirely at odds with what they depict: how we are shovelling, scraping and chipping away at the earth’s natural landscape, paving the way to our own demise in the process, through mass industry and overpopulation.

It is a process that is important to see, and Burtynsky visited 20 countries in four years in search of tangible evidence. His aim? To bring “an awareness of the normally unseen result of civilisation’s cumulative impact upon the planet.”

And yet, the project is not about finger-pointing. Instead, Burtynsky believes: “by describing the problem vividly, by being revelatory and not accusatory, we can help spur a broader conversation about viable solutions.” In the end, he hopes that “today’s generation will be inspired to carry the momentum of this discussion forward, so that succeeding generations may continue to experience the wonder and magic of what life, and living on Earth, has to offer.”

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