COP21–Paris 2015

Addressing Climate Change Legacy–Lucie Foundation Curates Photography Exhibition Highlighting Global Climate Change.

Curatorial Statement:

Photography in the hands of great artists can transmit a visual message that can make an impact, like no other medium. A single still image is capable of saying something so profound that its effect is undeniably felt by all people.

The artistic expression may be an individual one, but an image can be universally understood, and resonate around the world. The Lucie Awards is honoured to have been asked to curate and present exceptional images that do just that.

For the UN Climate Change Legacy Exhibition, we have called upon renowned photographers who have dedicated their lives to documenting melting icebergs, drought, air, water, waste pollution and the undeniable effects these things have had on our planet. It is a condensed, compassionate plea, through their lenses, of the effects of climate change.

Their images may be startlingly beautiful, which can complicate the horrific message they convey, but look beyond the amazing artistry and try to understand the subliminal ideas within these framed works.

Bravo to these brilliant image-makers who challenge us with their documentary record of what is taking place. It has been a privilege to curate their works for the COP21. We have been humbled by their clarity and consistent endeavour to keep shouting to the world to do something.

Hossein Farmani, Chair, The Lucie Awards
Susan Baraz, Co-Chair, The Lucie Awards

Ali Bin Thalith

Coconut Octopus
Anilao, Batangas, Philippines

A Coconut Octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus) peeking out of empty oil can. The Coconut Octopus is one of the few marine animals using tools. It is known to pick-up empty coconut or clam shells to use as shelter, hence its common name. These days the octopus has expanded its tool selection and is often observed carrying and using empty cans, jars and other human trash.

Alixandra Fazzina

Afghan Girl 

A young Afghan girl carries a sack as she picks her way through freshly dumped waste at Lahore city’s landfill. Beginning work at just four years of age, children search for plastic, glass, paper, wood, leather and fabric that will then be sorted and recycled by their families for money.

Working in filthy conditions for up to twelve hours a day, they must eat the scraps they find and have little access to water for washing. Invariably many children are sick; suffering from regular infections and disease due to bad hygiene and the toxic environment in which they have been forced into exile. Marginalised and living in complete poverty, this third generation of more than two million Afghan refugees in Pakistan have no stability and nowhere to turn.

Andrea Alessio

Un-natural Bestiary 

In this work Andrea Alessio collects, like an ancient bestiary, a series of images of animals. The forest does not frighten modern man anymore. Its night calls no longer echo as sinister in the imagination of children. There is little of the supernatural and the wild is no longer suggestive. In this disenchanted world, within which we have roamed far too long, Andrea Alessio knowingly undertook his journey. A journey in search of what remains of the beast. It is a journey that seems to be fed by the need for an understanding through the eyes. A look sometimes glassy, sometimes elusive and very often dead. Our animal nature is dead as well, closed on itself, situated among its artifices, almost like a bear caught between fake rocks. And so it may happen that we cannot distinguish a live animal, although with wounded instinct, from a stuffed animal, being both stern and awkward at the same time. Among these dioramas, among these small stages, Andrea Alessio moves for over 20 years without bias and with the specific and rigorous intention to engage perception and its boundaries. So it does not matter if we are in a museum in New York or at the zoo in Paris. The geography is nothing more than a scenic replica in which the animal is forced to spend its time. And so do we, because the way we perceive can become a prison like a cage for a lion. And this is a message, almost subconscious, which breathes through the pages of this bestiary. However, a cross-reading of the images of Andrea Alessio can still surprise us with new dimensions of meaning, combinations of senses that transcend the space and time of the gaze.

Andrea Bruce

Farmers Committing Suicide in India

Andy Anderson

Andy Anderson


Oil fields of Bakersfield–from a self-promotion booklet about oil workers at the Kem County oil fields outside Bakersfiled, California.

Aristide Economopoulos

Aristide Economopoulos

Ghosts of Hurricane Sandy

The Princess Cottage at night, located at 705 Front Street, was severely damaged in Union Beach, NJ, because of hurricane Sandy. The planet is getting warmer and, as it does, our sea levels keep rising. Few events better put that phenomenon on display than Hurricane Sandy. The 13-foot storm surge is an example of what will, by mid-century, be the “new norm on the Eastern seaboard” says Harvard geologist Daniel P. Schrag. Few were spared in the working-class town of 6,200. More than 500 houses were damaged, and over 110 were destroyed. Homeowners, local officials and contractors swarm in each day, picking up the pieces one brick at a time. Then they vanish each night, leaving Union Beach to its own devices- a haunting silence that sets in every 24 hours when the sun dips behind the horizon.

Brent Lewin

Urban Jungle 

After years of unsustainable and exponential growth in the construction industry during 1990s led to an economic meltdown, countless developers went bankrupt and were forced to abandon their projects. 10 years on, all that’s left of the burst bubble are eerie pockets of the abandoned foundations of skyscrapers and suburban homes to be. While the construction boom may have ended with these structures, the day-to-day lives of Thais seeking to make ends meet continued on and many of Thailand’s poorest soon found new homes in other people’s forgotten dreams.

The Bangkok suburb of Bang Bua Thong, surrounded by marshland and hidden among tangled masses of overgrown grass and tropical vegetation, is the home of several hundred squatters, who occupy the abandoned concrete foundations of two-storey townhouse-style living quarters. In the furthest reaches of the complex, unknown even to many of its inhabitants, live five families with their ten domesticated elephants. As if from a classical tale of days gone by, the elephants live side by side with their handlers, or mahouts. Many of the elephants use the abandoned structures as a jungle gym, clambering in and out of the many rooms, some even climbing the stairs to the second floor.

Bruno Tamiozzo


Agbogbloshie dumpsite in Ghana’s capital, Accra, is one of the main hubs for electronic waste (e-waste) disposal in West Africa, particularly from old computers and computer monitors. Since the late 1990s, countries around the globe have been sending millions of tons of e-waste to be processed each year on the site, which is home to more than 40,000 people.

Giles Clarke

The Recyclers of Port Au Prince

In a 200-acre toxic wasteland 5 kilometers north of Haiti’s capital, Port-au- Prince, hundreds of men, women and children scavenge day and night through the burning wasteland. They earn $12 to $15 a day-on a good day-for recycling plastics as well as clothing, household items and aluminum (for smelting). Some 5,000 tons of waste is created each day in the Port-au-Prince area.

Cameron Davidson

Mining Decimating Mountain Range Forest. Overhead Aerial.

Christian Aslund


Colourful rhyolite mountains Landmannalaugar in Fjallabak Nature Reserve, Highland of Iceland, at the edge of Laugahraun lava field that was formed in an eruption year 1477.

Colin Finlay


The Salton Sea was formed in 1905 when the Colorado broke its banks. 130 million gallons of partially treated sewage, slaughterhouse scraps and industrial toxins are carried by the New River into the sea per day. There is so much selenium at the bottom of the sea that it would be considered a hazardous waste dump were it not covered by water.

David Burdeny


Salterns are salt-making ponds, containing saline waters and high concentrations of microorganisms, algae and bacteria. Depending on the saline content, the algae in ponds turns the water various pastel hues from green to deep red. These images were captured in North and South America from fixed wing and rotor aircraft.

Emmanuel Coupe-Kalomiris

Aerial Series of Icelandic Rivers


Emmanuel Coupe-Kalomiris

Aerial Series of Icelandic Rivers


Espen Rasmussen

Paradise Lost

The streets are covered in a dirty layer of ash, and the horizon is dominated by factory chimneys and slag heaps that are more like mountains. The 140.000 people who live in Enakievo, a city in the east of Ukraine, have grown used to their bleak surroundings. The steel plant may plague the air with black, yellow and blue smoke from its 14 chimneys, but it also provides jobs and income. The coalmines and chemical factories are important drivers of the local economy too, though the financial crisis has hit the region hard. In the south, the tourists are the ones that keep the economy alive, flocking to the beaches and the Soviet-style hotels.

Gerd Ludwig

Gerd Ludwig

Baku, Azerbaijan, 1993 

The burning of fossil fuels not only destroys the ozone layer, but in Azerbaijan, dilapidated and leaky pumps of oil rigs create viscous pools of runoff. With forests of rigs in their backyard, the children of suburban Baku have learned to use them as sad substitutes for missing playgrounds.

Gerd Ludwig

Gerd Ludwig

Aral Sea, Kazakhstan, 1993 

Metaphorically walking on water, camels cross the dry bed of the Aral Sea. A powerful combination of irrigation draining the sea’s feeder rivers and decreasing snowfall in the Pamir Mountains has shrunk the sea’s area to the point where it has disappeared almost entirely. Due to the drying over the past decades, the micro-climate changed significantly. As coastlines receded, the area was plagued by dust storms that contained toxic residue from industrial agriculture and weapons testing in the area. The shrinking sea created this graveyard of rusting shipwrecks, where once the beautiful bay glistened.

Gorazd Golob


This photo was taken while I was photographing for a customer – lodge owner from Zambia. It was lazy day on Kafue River; I was in a small boat, because water level was very low. Kafue River, Zambia, is full of Hippos and they feel safe only if they can hide in the water. Just after winter, water is down and if you drive in a boat they either run out of water, submerges – if there is enough depth, or they try to attack you. This one was too lazy to run out so attack was better option. Many times they finish their attack before they reach you but you never know. It is amazing how quick such big animal can run in the water. I was sitting few cm above the water and taking photos, looking just thru viewfinder. My friend, who assisted me, became unhappy with furious animal heading our way and tried to force boat driver to move but I asked just for few more seconds. When my friend becomes really loud I looked above camera and I must admit that hippo was way bigger than before, so we moved away, not as fast as we wanted because of low water but Hippo was happy with a small victory, not seeking for total win-turning our boat and forced us to swim (optimistic version).

Low angle, focused animal, a bit of luck challenge and I got a great shot I always wanted because with rangers in boat they decide when you move (for safety reasons) and with a driver, who was not trained ranger (but the best boat driver and tracker) I succeed in challenging our luck a bit more than otherwise.

Henry Dallal

Remnants of a 10,000 year-old glacier on the slopes of Aconcagua, Argentina

James Balog

Stein Gletscher, Switzerland, 25 September, 2006

James Balog

Stein Gletscher, Switzerland, 15 August, 2015 

Jamey Stillings

The Evolution of Ivanpah Solar 

“Changing Perspectives – The Evolution of Ivanpah Solar” is an aerial survey of the construction of Ivanpah Solar in the Mojave Desert, California. Now complete (February 2014), it is the world’s largest concentrated solar thermal power plant, producing 392 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 140,000 American homes.

Over the next few years, I intend to transform Changing Perspectives into a project of global scale. By observing these contemporary changes, I am creating imagery relevant both to our present-day collective consciousness and to our eventual historical perspective of this era on Earth.

Jesper Anhede

Canoeing in the Morning Mist – Centennial Valley, Montana 

Canoeing at J Bar L Ranch vacation homes. The Red Rock River begins at Lillian Lake in the beautiful Centennial Mountains in Montana. It flows down the mountains into the extremely scenic, sparsely visited and wildlife-abundant Centennial Valley.

Joel Sartore

The Vanishing: Amphibian Extinction 

Johannes Frank

Aurora Borealis

A series of photographs of Aurora Borelis shot in different places in Iceland.

Jon Hope

Sunrise on Sunset

A rare crystal clear morning over the Sunset District in San Francsisco

Jose Francisco Mingorance

Rio Tinto, the Heart of the Earth

The history of the Rio Tinto mines dating back to the first organized civilizations. Already in the Bronze Age development of the mine, he was attached to the own civilizations: Tartars, Phoenicians … But mine development at this time came with the Romans. The introduction of these new techniques allowed the continuation of mining operations. Las Rio Tinto mines are among the most oldest in the world and contain the bulk of known copper pyrites.

The river’s name comes from its reddish ocher passing on the banks. These colors are due to the high, since the dawn of history, ferruginous salts and ferric sulfate, and the scarcity of oxygen, give a very acidic pH. Rio Tinto is a unique place in the world, both for its chromatic beauty as for its exceptional environmental conditions.

Its waters have little oxygen and harbor significant biodiversity of microscopic organisms whose presence has attracted NASA scientists investigating the ecosystem, due to its similarities to Mars.

Francisco Mingorance reveals in this series of aerial images an exclusive insight into the captivating beauty of a unique landscape.

Kemal Jufri

The Coal Question 

Indonesia is the fifth largest coal producer in the world today and as of 2009, is the second largest exporter after Australia. This archipelagic nation only uses approximately 13 percent of the coal it produces for domestic consumption and the remaining 87 percent is sold to the rest of the world.

Coal powers 41 percent of the world’s electrical supply. This led to the dramatic increase of world coal demand, which in turn prompted the industry to grow in leaps and bounds. However, irresponsible coal exploitation results in adverse impacts and comes at the expense of human health, environmental degradation and global climate change — a high cost to pay when alternative energy is a cleaner, safer and healthier option.

In Indonesia, where open-pit mining is predominantly practiced, coal leaves an irreparable trail of destruction in its chain of custody from extraction to burning. The story of coal is a tale rife with destructions and misery rooted in irresponsibility.

Kensuke Suzuki

Lucid Dream

I wandered the planet of dreams. Dream world had spread to the tip of the light.

Kristin Lau

Nepal—A Moment of Silence

A series of photographs that preserve Nepal’s majestic beauty prior to the devastating and destructive force of the recent earthquakes and tremors.

Namche Bazaar is the largest village in the Solukhumbu region, surrounding the epicentre of the second 7.3 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal. Namche Bazaar is known as the main trading center for the Khumbu region. It rests at an altitude of 3,440m and is one of the main lodging villages for the intrepid Mount Everest trekkers and professional mountaineers.

Marcin Szczepanski

People of the River 

This project focuses on the lives of indigenous fishermen who have worked to remake their lives after being expelled from their homes and kicked off their land; sacrificed in the process of making of several private nature reserves and a federal national park in Pantanal, Brazil.

People of the River captures the intimate, symbiotic and multifaceted relationship between the Brazilian Guató Indians and their environment in the largest wetlands in the world, Pantanal in Brazil. Pantanal is roughly 10 times the size of Florida’s Everglades. The Guató have traditionally been a nomadic tribe. They have used hand-made canoes to fish and travel along the rivers, lakes and wetlands of Pantanal. In the past and still today, the Guató do not strive to change, control or triumph over nature. Rather, they have worked within a given landscape to sustain their families and to adapt to the surrounding environment. They have inhabited the area for centuries, and while far fewer in numbers, around 400 people in this tribe still exist and continue with their traditions today.

This project raises questions about the way we “preserve nature” by separating man from the land and gives voice to the Guató who struggle to maintain their culture and livelihoods which is intimately tied up with this land and nature.

Marie Wilkinson & Cyril Christo

Convergence of the Tribes, Amboseli, Kenya, 2007 

The search for water has been the life-sustaining quest for all beings. This photograph depicts the convergence of two groups – the Maasai herdsmen with their cattle and a herd of elephant – on a common watering hole.

Brent Lewin

Matthew Turley

Matthew Turley

Kolmanskop was a bustling diamond-mining town in the early 20th century until it was abandoned after WWI.


Syria. Hell on Earth. 

More than 70,000 people, mostly civilians, have died in Syria since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began more that 2 years ago. What began as peaceful pro-democracy protests has ended as the worst nightmare Syrian citizens could imagine. Ans survival is not easy.

Syrians hardly resist the harshness of war, therefore, to give voice to an issue of such magnitude and gravity, I propose these photographs as a sample of the body of work I’ve been doing in Syria since September 2012 until the end of March 2013.

Miti Ruangkritya

Space Shift

Space Shift take place on the edge of the city near a motorway, where temporary housing units had been erected to provide support for those whose homes had been damaged by the flooding.

When I first arrived at the location, I was immediately struck by how the futuristic the setting appeared – the fluorescent lighting that glowed against the giant concrete structures at night felt reminiscent of the worlds captured in sci-fi manga comics or the sleeping capsules for the overnight businessmen in Japan. There was something otherworldly about the setting alongside a pervading sense of stillness that contrasted to the scenes of hysteria that had been portrayed in the media.

Parker Pfister

Parker Pfister

Superior Power

Parker Pfister


Paul Souders

The Ice Bear 

A lone polar bear sits at the edge of a melting iceberg near Half Moon Island in the Svalbard archipelago. During my first trip to these Norwegian-administered high arctic islands, I saw polar bears for the first time in the natural environment. The landscape at 80° north latitude was barren and forbidding, but also hauntingly beautiful.

Petra Barth

Aurora Borealis

An aurora is a natural light display in the sky, predominantly seen in the high latitude regions. Aurorae are caused by cosmic rays, solar wind and magnetospheric plasma interacting with the upper atmosphere.

Po Chun Huang


This photo was taken in a narrow ice cave near Exit Glacier in Seward, Alaska, so narrow that I had to crawl in carefully without damaging the structure. The melting of all the glaciers on earth is speeding up due to the worsening of the global warming. The Mendenhall ice cave in Juneau, Alaska, which was once one of the most spectacular scenes in the world, has disappeared. How many other magnificent views do we have to destroy before we wake up and try our best to make a difference?

Robert Leslie

Bastrop Fire

The region surrounding Bastrop, Texas (USA) was parched from years of diminished rainfall & many years of drought. Over the labour day weekend of 2011, high winds from tropical storm Lee caused weakened trees to fall onto power lines, creating sparks that fell onto and ignited the dry grass and leaf litter below.

By October 1, the fire had reached 98% containment but had burned a total of 34,068 acres and 1,645 homes, making it the most destructive fire in Texas history. At 8:00 PM on October 10, the fire was declared 100% contained.

Wildfires burned an estimated 8,706,852 acres (35,235 square kilometers) of land across the United States during 2011 making it the third-most-active wildfire season in the historical record (since 1960).

Rudi Dundas

Water is Life’s Most Basic Need 

Drinking water is life’s most basic need. Yet nearly a billion people on our planet do not have access to it.

The Samburu of North-West Kenya are traditionally a nomadic tribe, but the government has settled them so that they can be taxed and documented. Now with the drought, they can no longer move with their livestock to another area. Young girls carry 43-pound jerry cans on their backs to bring the minimum water needed for the family. New wells will help ease the lives of these girls, and bring peace to their land again.

Sebastião Salgado

Kei, Southern Sudan, 2006

Simon Harsent


This project begins with images of the massive icebergs as they enter Greenland’s Disco Bay from the Ilulissat Icefjord; it ends with the icebergs off the East Coast of Newfoundland, by which time they have travelled hundreds of miles, and have been so battered and broken down that they are little more than ghosts of what they once were. Seeing them first overpowering in grandeur and then, later, about to be absorbed back into the flux from which they came, is both beautiful and humbling: a metamorphosis that endows them with a life-span, each with it’s own personality, each with it’s own story.

This project had its origin in a wholly personal moment; a personal journey. It is impossible, however, to look at these images and not think of the environmental issues we face right now. Just as the choice I made in my childhood in some ways defined me as a man, so the choices we are making as a species will define who we become, and what becomes of the planet on which we live.

Simon Harsent


This project begins with images of the massive icebergs as they enter Greenland’s Disco Bay from the Ilulissat Icefjord; it ends with the icebergs off the East Coast of Newfoundland, by which time they have travelled hundreds of miles, and have been so battered and broken down that they are little more than ghosts of what they once were. Seeing them first overpowering in grandeur and then, later, about to be absorbed back into the flux from which they came, is both beautiful and humbling: a metamorphosis that endows them with a life-span, each with it’s own personality, each with it’s own story.

This project had its origin in a wholly personal moment; a personal journey. It is impossible, however, to look at these images and not think of the environmental issues we face right now. Just as the choice I made in my childhood in some ways defined me as a man, so the choices we are making as a species will define who we become, and what becomes of the planet on which we live.

Steve McCurry

Dust Storm in the Desert

I was in a beat-up taxi traveling through the desert to a town called Jaisalmer near the India-Pakistan border. It was in June, and as hot as the planet ever gets. The rains had failed in that part of Rajasthan for thirteen years. I wanted to capture something of the mood of anticipation before the monsoon.

As we drove down the road, we saw a dust storm grow — a typical event before the monsoon breaks. For miles it built into a huge frightening wall of dust, moving across the landscape like a tidal wave, eventually enveloping us like a thick fog. As it arrived, the temperature dropped suddenly and the noise became deafening. Where we stopped, women and children worked on the road — something they are driven to do when the crops fail — now barely able to stand in the fierce wind, clustered together to shield themselves from the sand and dust. I tried to make pictures.

In the strange dark-orange light and howling wind, battered by sand and dust they sang and prayed. Life and death seemed to hang in a precarious balance.

Tine Poppe

Not Dark Yet 

I started this series wanting to draw attention to the dangerous consequences of the man made climate changes and humanity’s interconnectedness with nature. I realized as the series was evolving, that I very much approached the subject of my own feelings around death and old age in creating pictures about the death of nature.

Valerie Leonard

Praying Ganesh

The Andaman Islands are a group of Indian Ocean archipelagic islands in the Bay of Bengal, between India to the west and Burma to the north and east.

In spite of its white sand beaches lined with palm trees, this archipelago remains a confidential destination, spared by the mass tourism.

This elephant is 61 years old. His name is Rahjan. This is the last elephant swimming in the sea water. He has been trained by the British to push logs of wood, while swimming, from one island to another.

He lies in this peculiar position for his mahout (master) climbs on his back. This photo needed 5 working days to meet the climatic conditions and the willingness of Rahjan. I did not want to cast a shadow on the sand and had to lie Rahjan perfectly aligned with the horizon.


Where does recyclable scrap go

A large city like Beijing, with the population more than 22 million, produces 1.84 tons household garbage. Very few people know where recyclable scrap goes and how will the city handle those. There are more than a hundred recyclable scrap markets in suburban areas of Beijing, also the destinations of much of Beijing’s recyclable scrap. The yards of the markets are filled with blocks of crushed metal, stacks of cardboard, heaps of plastic bottles and piles of newspapers and rags. People there work on sorting and preparing it for a second life. When the dark falls in the city, tricycles and trucks throng to the village, loaded with discarded cardboard, paper and plastic bottles.

Yosuke Kashiwakura

Crows Nest 

After receiving a report from a citizen who had been attacked on the street by a crow watching over its nest, employees of Tokyo’s municipal government moved the nest to a storage warehouse. I heard a strange story that the nest was made with things like clothes hangers, so I went to investigate. Luckily, I was able to find the warehouse. The only way to tell that it was a nest was the egg resting in the center. The municipal workers who cleared the nest explained that “the crow borrowed metal hangers a little at a time from apartment balconies, and skillfully formed the base structure with its beak. It used just about anything, including twine and vinyl fibers.” The completed nest resembles a modern work of recycled art. From the day on, I started to be drawn to the trees of the city.

Yvonne De Rosa

Yvonne De Rosa

Terra Mia

The Italian Region of Campania, in the last few years has become notoriously known as the ‘new triangle of death’ or ‘ The Land of Fires’. It is at the center of a media storm due to the dangerous levels of pollution of the land and the connections between politics and corruption that brought the area and its inhabitants into complete chaos. My work observes those who are battling to live in this complex situation, placed amongst the toxic elements of contamination and corruption both literally and metaphorically.

The region has recently experienced an increasing number of deaths caused by cancer and other diseases connected with the introduction into the environment of substances which had harmful or poisonous effects far exceeding the Italian national average. It is thought that the rise in cancer-related mortality is caused mainly by pollution from illegal and indecorous hazardous waste disposal from various sources. No more so than as a result of the work carried out by the familial organized crime clans of the Camorra. Carmine Schiavone – one of the ex-heads of the Camorra’s clan Casalesi – recently admitted that he had systematically worked for 20 years to bribe local politicians and officials to gain their acquiescence to dump toxic waste.

Even though the illegal dumping of toxic waste was at the core of the Camorra business before, what concerns now it is the very probable scenario that sees the new focus of the business pointing to secure contracts to clean up the polluted land. The lack of values or assistance from the Italian Government and an overly bureaucratic system has left the population in a complete state of disarray and uncertainty.