In order to give people a face and to show that everything is connected to everything else, I went to climate-relevant places all over the world and visited several indigenous cultures caught between tradition and modernity. Their habitat is threatened by external influences. However, I do not show catastrophes but instead I am interested in people’s stories and faces. Since 2010, I have visited inhabitants of all five continents in different climatic zones – the Arctic and the Amazonia, the Gobi desert, the savannah near Mount Kilimanjaro and, last but not least, an atoll-island state in the South Pacific.
In the first part of my work, I photographed regions of East Greenland and the Amazon basin in Ecuador– both tipping points in the climate system that will reach an irreversible point in the event of further global warming. After many visits, I installed my pictures of the Inuit from Greenland in combination with the Achuar from Ecuador on an iceberg in the Arctic and showed the same pictures in the Amazon rainforest. By combining the portraits, I build a bridge between the people, their regions, and cultures and bring them into a dialog and show that everything is interwoven.
Some years later after visiting climate tipping points around the world, I brought everything together for ‘Tropic Ice_Dialog Between Places Affected by Climate Change’.
For the first time in September 2019, I showed an art installation of 35 photographs uniting people from all five continents in and around the Hambach Forest in Germany on the apron of the opencast lignite mine. They all stand as ambassadors for their climate zones and their continents: Inuit from Greenland, Achuar and Shuar from Ecuador, mongolian Nomads from Gobi Desert, Maasai from the Republic of Tanzania and Micronesians of the small island state of Kiribati.
The images in the main part of the installation are arranged as a circle of portraits and landscape photographs. A circle not only symbolizes the earth itself but also our planet, the universe, and every living creature form a unity within it. Everybody is connected to everybody else.
Barbara is a German renowned photographer and artist. After studying visual communication at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Dortmund, she was granted a scholarship in art and lived in Paris for four years pursuing her career as a photographer. Returning to Hamburg where she has lived for over twenty years, Barbara dedicates her work to places affected by climate change.