Virginia Hanusik’s ‘A Receding Coast’ Tackles the Tough Topic of Climate Change

All photos by Virginia Hanusik. Used with permission.

“I have a problem with photographers who use disaster voyeurism as a means of gaining attention for their work,” says Virginia Hanusik, a photographer whose work concentrating on the relationship between culture and the built environment has given her the task of tackling climate change. “In some cases, photographs of flooding and wildfires are certainly necessary and should be shown, but when you’re exploiting someone’s loss for your own benefit then there is an issue.”

Climate change is a polarizing topic for society, but one that continues to come up. Whilst some brush it off as no concern, there are others unprepared to allow the conversation to go away – including photographers. Further, humanitarian photography is no easy task, especially when you’re documenting the negative contribution society is having on the environment. For example, taking nothing away from portrait, event, or editorial, humanitarian photography requires a certain strength to be able to plunge yourself into the sometimes depressing narratives society endures. In her series A Receding Coast, Virginia closely looks at how our architectural practices have led to coastal erosion in South Louisiana.

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