Oil Bunkering #2, Niger Delta, Nigeria

Edward Burtynsky Canadian

Not on view

Burtynsky is a landscape photographer who chronicles the devastation wrought by man on Earth. This work is from his 2016 project Anthropocene, the third in a trilogy of series including Manufactured Landscapes (2006) and Watermark (2013). The series title refers to the name proposed by geologists and other scientists to the period beginning in 1950 when human activity became the dominant force shaping the planet. This aerial image shows the results of a process known as "bunkering", where poor communities siphon off oil from the pipelines of multinational corporations extracting their country's national resources. The regular spillages of crude oil and toxic by-products from their jerry-rigged micro-refineries pollute the delta waters and surrounding land, which is also logged and burned to build and access their own pipelines. It is a powerful image of ecological devastation that uses the seductive lushness of digital color photography to show the possibly irreversible damage that man has done to the environment.

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