The Anthropocene is a stage on the geological scale when humans have taken the planet beyond its natural limits. The term derives from the Greek and indicates man’s imprint on the current geological epoch. Humans are no longer participants in life on the planet. They are a dominating force that prevails over oceans, landscapes, agriculture, animals. This change could be catastrophic and irreversible on a planetary scale. A sense of longing and anxiety has developed about the perception of changes in the surrounding environment. This feeling, called climate anxiety, develops in young people after seeing natural disasters.
Anthropocene Working Group is an international team of scientists. They recognize and examines human changes to the Earth system. The work called Anthropocene by Edward Burtynsky aims to raise human awareness in the hope of a better world. He collaborates with Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier. This project includes a photobook, a travelling museum exhibition, a documentary film and an interactive website.
“As a collaborative group, Jennifer, Nick and I believe that an experiential, immersive engagement with our work can shift the consciousness of those who engage with it, helping to nurture a growing environmental debate“Edward Burtynsky – “Life in Anthropocene”, Anthropocene book
Edward Burtynsky is one of the world’s best known and most appreciated photographers. A talented and internationally recognized photographer, he has trained his lens on subjects such as open mine sites, quarries and oil refineries. His images are arresting and thought-provoking, demonstrating his ability to find aesthetic beauty in unlikely places. His extraordinary photographs of industrial landscapes are held in various collections in the world. He has received several awards including the TED Prize in 2005, the Roloff Beny Book Award, and the Rogers Award for Best Canadian Film. In 2018, Burtynsky was named Master of Photography at Photo London 2018. He also received the Mosaic Institute’s Peace Patron designation.
His photographs express the literary concept of the sublime that developed in Romanticism. This term indicates a mixed feeling between beauty and terror. He believes that his photos show us an irreversible change that leaves us immobile before this insurmountable power. He also stresses that there is no possibility of returning to the essence. However, by sensitizing the new generations, action can be taken to create a new value system. It must aim to make the world a better and habitable place for future generations.
We interest in engaging those who don’t believe in the climate crisis. Who don’t think that human beings have a major impact on the planet, and tell them: “Take a look at this and think about”Edward Burtynsky – Interview
His interest in the subject developed through his love of nature. After various trips, he immortalized these situations, which made him more aware of the world around him. He does not make this a political issue. On the contrary, he believes that nature punishes everyone without exception. He is hopeful about the future, about new generations and how our behaviour can bring about a new change. He also believes that humans are very tenacious and adapt to change. This is the only way that people living in a plastic dump can survive. But concerns remain, and the only way to address them is to educate others so that there is good shelter and enough food.