Visualizing the Climate Crisis: Deforestation

January 25, 2024
11:00–12:15PM EST
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Photo by Raphael Alves

Deforestation refers to the decrease in forest areas across the world. Forests are lost to make space for agriculture and animal grazing and to obtain wood for fuel, manufacturing, and construction. Greatly accelerated by human activities since 1960, deforestation has been negatively affecting natural ecosystems, biodiversity, and the climate. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the annual rate of deforestation to be around 1.3 million km2 per decade.

How can ‘deforestation’ be visualized? Can visual storytellers, social innovators, and artistic directors work together to tell the whole story and the connectedness of all, to the wide public? How can we make people aware that their living and cultural habits have an impact on the forests, and consequently the loss of biodiversity? How do we show the impact of deforestation on the climate, which has side effects on our lives too?

This is the fourth talk of the series, Visualizing the Climate Crisis, which explores the potential and the role that contemporary photography, together with different disciplines, can have in addressing the multi-layered theme of climate change.

The series features visual journalists doing evidence-based, research-informed, image-led reporting on climate issues. They will be in conversation with other professionals representing a diverse range of disciplines, such as science, policy-making, education, architecture, social innovation, media, and more, trying to explore the possibility of thinking beyond photography in a genuinely trans-disciplinary approach to expand reach, involve the wider public, and move people from being inspired to taking action.

In this event, Raphael Alves (documentary photographer) and Louise Fedotov-Clements (artistic director), are in conversation with Maria Teresa Salvati. The event will be moderated by Dr. Paul Lowe.


Louise Fedotov-Clements is the director of Photoworks, a national and international platform focussed on the development of photography and related media. She is also a National Curator of Contemporary Art, Forestry England, where she collaborates on an arts program of commissions, residencies, and research across 1500 forests, including Co-Direction of the international Earth Photo program of exhibitions, awards, and events focussed on photography and moving image.
Maria Teresa Salvati is the founder and director of Everything is Connected, a trans-disciplinary platform that aims at connecting different areas of research and experiments with new ways to involve and engage the public at large, learning through the results of experimentation and providing the community with new paradigms for communicating the environmental crisis.
Dr. Paul Lowe is a Reader in Documentary Photography and the Course Leader of the Masters program in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication, University of the Arts, London, UK. Paul is an award-winning photographer who has been published in TIME, Newsweek, Life, The Sunday Times Magazine, The Observer, and The Independent, amongst others. He has covered breaking news the world over, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nelson Mandela’s release, famine in Africa, the conflict in the former Yugoslavia, and the destruction of Grozny.
Raphael Alves is a documentary photographer from Bazil. His work has been awarded in the ‘Convocatoria Iberoamericana de Proyectos Fotográficos’ by the International Fund for the Arts (FIArt) and the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB). He also received Pictures of the Year Latin America (2017 and 2021), and Pictures of the Year International (2022). Rapael was a recipient of Getty Images grants for editorial photography in 2021. In 2023, his work was a winner from The Nature Conservancy. Raphael is a member of the Everyday Brazil project.

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