24 photographers from 12 African Commonwealth countries have come together to tell a story—the story of how the continent and its people are being shaped by climate change and these nations' desperate plea for worldwide action.
An open call was put out by the Common Wealth Foundation inviting African photographers to submit their work. A Lens on the Climate Crisis in Africa is a fantastic project telling an important story.
“This exhibition is an important reminder that climate change is not a future problem,” says the organization. “Rather, it is an immediate and severe challenge facing communities on the frontline of a global crisis.”
Extreme weather phenomena have created unprecedented problems: children unable to attend school, failed crops and heightened food insecurity and destroyed homes and property.
Climate change is a current threat to the livelihoods of 100 million people who already live in poverty. The economic stability of the countries will also be threatened: a 3% reduction in GDP is predicted to occur by 2050.
“We cannot remove climate change from general systems change. It comes to the issues of social injustice. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to say when there's a big flood in Johannesburg, in Lagos, in Rwanda, or wherever the marginalized are probably going to be the most hit by that event. We need to be very careful not to focus everything on climate; we need to look at all of those drivers, that climate just exposes. So if you have a drought, it exposes that lack of access to credit, the lack of access to resources,” Coleen Vogel, acting director of the Global Change Institute, said.
The photographs are evocative and speak volumes about the unmanaged crisis so many are currently facing.
The exhibit was published as part of Africa Climate Week 2022. It can be viewed here.