Ana Maria Arévalo Gosen with Ayün Fotografas.
Third chapter of the group project ‘The Nature That Inhabits Us’
Since modern times, three main ideologies are continuously opposed: capitalism, the fascism and communism. They confront themselves through wars and conflict, but also with narratives of propaganda, placements of symbols, movies and photography. The leaders of these ideologies use in their interest the narrative power of certain images to direct the masses.
In the 70s, the ecologist narrative emerged to challenge consumerism and the belief of an eternal economic growth. The beat generation, which was a strong movement offering another way of a collective life, was the base of the ecology movement. In 1970 for the first day of the Earth, 20 million people assembled only in the USA. Since then, politicians and leaders were already aware of the causes and effects of global warming. Scientific studies warned us what our trajectory was going to be.
However, no government reacted with strict measures. From 1980 until today the situation has profoundly deteriorated and the efforts of the ecology movement were frustrated. Until recently, the narrative of the ecologists was based on pessimism and fear towards an apocalyptic future. We keep imagining our own extinction in the most terrible ways. Rarely we find stories that tell a positive outcome of our own existence from the climate crisis.
Today, a powerful ecologic movement emerged with Greta Thumberg, Friday' s for Future, Extinction rebellion, among others. These movements are driven by a generation that opposes the belief of an apocalypse. They have realized that the promises of consumerism are destroying their future. They understand that we are one species among others, and we must find our way back to nature, and therefore to life.
Natura Belaunaldia is a series of portraits of the generation of young activists against climate change in Spain’s Basque Country in the protagonists’ homes, in the place where they spend most of their time during the quarantine caused by the pandemic. Each portrait is paired to an image representing their thoughts towards change: clean oceans or less pollution of plastic or medical waste. Or, their reasons for their protest during the quarantine: “The reduction of the CO2 emissions caused by the quarantine was a positive part in all of this process, but will we learn from it or are we going to increase the emissions to compensate for the economic loss during this time?"
The future is unknown; but what is certain is that this generation is fighting to bring back the narrative of beauty to reconnect with Nature. During this particular time in history, it is essential
Aiora (19) poses for a portrait on July 26th 2020 in her home in Donostia. Natura Belaunaldia is a story that centers on portraits of young activists in the Spanish Basque Country. These portraits are taken in their rooms, the place where they spend most of their time during the quarantine caused by the first pandemic of the XXI century. In this story the protagonists are accompanied by an image that represents their own thoughts towards transformation: to stop deforestation, to have clean waters without plastics or medical waste and to reduce the CO2 emissions.
An beech tree in Anne's home in Vergara. Aiora grew up in a farmhouse with animals around her. She is a vegan. Her activism revolves around the idea of respect to all living beings and rejects
speciesism - intolerance or discrimination on the basis of species, especially as manifested by cruelty to or exploitation of animals by humans. Her grandparents do not support this concept.
Gin (21) poses for a portrait on July 14th 2020 in their home in Donostia. They are a member of Friday's for Future Bilbao and extinction rebellion. Their biggest worry are the social injustices that come with the pandemic, that is the main reason of their activism against climate change.
The Atlantic ocean photographed during the afternoon from Capetown, South Africa on January 23rd. This ocean connects the American and European continent and occupies 20% of the Earth's surface.
Alba (21) poses for a portrait on July 7th 2020 in her home in Bilbao. She is a member of Friday's for Future Bilbao. Her biggest worry on the climate crisis are the climate refugees.
Dylan (21) poses for a portrait on July 20th 2020 in his home in Donostia. He is a member of Friday's for Future Vitoria-Gastéiz and Extinction Rebellion. He likes the actions of Extinction Rebellion because they use
civil disobedience to protest against climate change.
Maria (21) poses for a portrait on July 28th 2020 in her home in Gorliz, Spain. She is a member of the GOAZENUP club which organizes iniatives to collect plastic from the rivers and beaches near Bilbao. Maria is also a soccer player of the feminine team of Athletic Club Bilbao. In addition of being an activists she is a soccer player for the feminine team of the Athletic Club Bilbao. For her the quarantine was extremely hard because she could not go to training. According to her "We see how the environment has improved a lot over the months, so the question is, what does human beings do with nature? we are monsters".
Sarah (27) poses for a portrait on July 17th 2020 in the MATER boat in Bilbao. She is a member of the crew of the ecomuseum MATER, which is in a recovered wooden boat. Sarah was affected emotionally by the quarantine, she had panic attacks because she felt too disconnected from nature.
Aihnara (19) poses for a portrait on July 20th 2020 in her home in Vitoria-Gastéiz. She is taking a sabatical year to be an active member of Friday's for Future Vitoria-Gasteiz and extinction rebellion Álava. She believes that it is not responsable not to act against climate change.
Felled trees in a forest near the Weissensee lake in Austria on August 15th, 2020.
Yago (28) poses for a portrait on August 31th 2020 in his room in Plentzia, Spain. He is a member of the GOAZENUP group, which is a organization that takes care of the environment and people in need in Gorliz and Plentzia. He studies marine sciences and his thesis consists on research of the toxicity of graphene in microalgae.
A picture of PETRONOR, the oil refinery in Muskiz at night the 30th of June 2020. Alex is worried that the climate crisis will get worse after the pandemic, because pollution and CO2 emissions will raise to cope with the economic loss caused by the quarantine.
Mencia (18) poses for a portrait on July 20th 2020 in her home in Vitoria-Gastéiz. Since the pandemic started, she became a member of Friday's for Future Vitoria-Gasteiz and extinction rebellion Álava. She felt the need to make actions.
A deer recovers from an accident in the protection center of flora and fauna Arrano Etxea in San Sebastian on the 22th of July 2020. According to Nerea "We are in a system that kills those who protect us and we are condemned to a a climate colapse".
Nerea (24) poses for a portrait on July 13th 2020 in her home in Donostia. She is a member of Friday's for Future Donostia. For her, "the vaccine against pandemics are healthy ecosystems".