Thirsty Yet? In LA, Annenberg Space Photo Exhibit Explores Water Issues


X'Keken Cenote in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Photo by John Stanmeyer courtesy of The Annenberg Foundation

Before and after shots of our vanishing water depict a dramatic display through inspiring imagery at the "Water: Our Thirsty World" exhibit at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles. This compelling photographic and multimedia show just opened for three months in collaboration with National Geographic magazine's April issue on the world's water crisis. Six photographers focus on a specific issue relating to freshwater, exploring water's role on the planet and addressing this essential and threatened resource. More than 700 inspired photographs and multimedia productions say it best, showing how water feeds, powers and sustains life and how the forces of climate change, technology and policy have created critical water shortages and challenges.The photographers and the stories they chose to reveal:

• Jonas Bendiksen captures the Himalaya glacial melt
• Edward Burtynsky exposes California's water infrastructure
• Lynn Johnson documents the burden of thirst in Africa
• Paolo Pellegrin investigates water rights in the Middle East
• Joel Sartore looks at freshwater species
• John Stanmeyer explores our spiritual connection with water

As the magazine states, by 2050, a third of the people on Earth may lack a clean, secure source of water. "Together, we can help to bring a deeper awareness of and appreciation for the role of water in our lives and the lives of people around the world," said Chris Johns, National Geographic magazine editor in chief on the collaboration between the gallery and the magazine.

A series of Thursday lectures with photographers will accompany the exhibition, from April 1 to June 3. "We're in this for the same reason: to start a conversation about the world we share, about the water we cherish and about the ways we must secure it, for all of humankind," said Wallis Annenberg, Chair and CEO of the Foundation.

Some of the guest photographers on their environmental projects include:

• Balazs Gardi on capturing marginalized communities in desperate conditions, overpopulated slums, refugee camps, and crisis areas, often under-represented in the media. On April 8, he speaks of his work covering the Roma minorities dealing with growing poverty and appalling living conditions in a dozen Eastern European countries.
• Camille Seaman, an American Indian, speaks on May 6 about her photography of the North and South Polar regions, documenting the fragile environment, indigenous cultures and environments.
• David Maisel will describe his "Black Maps" on May 20, aerial photographs of sites devastated by environmental impact. His images show the undoing of the natural world by wide-scaled human intervention in the landscape, spectacular and horrifying eradicated zones.

The exhibit runs from March 27-June 13 in LA. National Geographic's April Water issue is on newsstands as of March 30. A download of an interactive edition is available on the Society's website until April 2 with annotated slide shows and informative videos.

More on water issues:
Himalayas, Africa Facing Climate Change-Induced Water Shortages
Mexico's Water Shortage Turning Into Food Crisis
What It Looks Like When the Water Crisis Slaps You In The Face
120 Nations Meet in Attempt to Avert Global Water Crisis

Tags: Desertification | Drinking Water | Exhibits | Water Conservation

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