News•February 2, 2015
Everyday Climate Change, Now On Instagram
By Brian Kahn
The #tbt hashtag might get a run for its money on Instagram: climate change has arrived on the popular social network. World-class photographers are putting their pictures on display for a new account called Everyday Climate Change and amateurs can contribute.
A photo posted by Everyday Climate Change (@everydayclimatechange) on Jan 30, 2015 at 5:36am PST
Instagram might seem like an odd place to show pictures of climate change every single day. Though it's sometimes maligned as the home of selfies, cat photos and latte art, the social network also has a strong network of photojournalists and artists looking to share their craft with a wider audience.
“I’m hoping we can bring new people to the work who wouldn’t normally be thinking about this. We’re able to show climate change is happening in the U.S., Europe and Japan as well as the Arctic and rainforest. No one is immune,” James Whitlow Delano, the photographer who started the new account, said.
Other “everyday” accounts dealing with equally serious topics have gained traction on Instagram. The first account, Everyday Africa, was started in 2012 to show Africa as more than just the caricatures that are often portrayed in Western literature and imagery.
A photo posted by Everyday Climate Change (@everydayclimatechange) on Jan 1, 2015 at 4:39am PST
“The concept of Everyday Africa is brilliant because having been there and seen the way it’s portrayed are two completely different beings,” Delano said.
That power is why the account has given rise to everyday explorations in other regions and countries as diverse as Latin America, Iran and the U.S. Each of those accounts can transport people to far-flung corners of the globe and provide unique perspectives. Everyday Climate Change is like those accounts but with a twist, because it transcends borders by exploring an issue that affects everyone.
A few dozen photographers are contributing to the account on a regular basis. Their work shows an intimate side of climate change and its impact on individuals as well as providing the bigger picture. It is oil wells spreading throughout the Niger delta. It is deforestation in Indonesia. It is dwindling ice on the highest mountain in Ecuador. And it’s seeing how each affects the communities around them and the world at large.
A photo posted by Everyday Climate Change (@everydayclimatechange) on Feb 1, 2015 at 10:28am PST
The photographers that Delano has assembled are people who he said he has “great admiration for their work.” Their work has been published in top-tier publications and displayed in galleries and museums around the world. But Delano said he wants Everyday Climate Change to evolve to include other points of view and expand the community, including climate scientists to provide scientific context and their own artistic perspective as well as everyday Instagrammers.
“We’re looking at the hashtag #everydayclimatechange. We’ll search that and see what it brings. It’s a great way to bring together a community and discover new talent,” Delano said.
So take a look back through your camera roll and see what you have.