Is this progress?

Another melancholic series of photographs documenting our changing environment, this time of the United Arab Emirates.

Depicted through poignant landscapes, the grim reality of consumption by Richard Allenby-PrattIGNANT
The UAE is less than half a century old; before the formation of its federation, the region had only really changed on a geological timescale—“a timescale so vast that the human mind cannot even begin to perceive it,” he explains, “and yet, in one human generation, we have altered or in some way touched, almost every square kilometer.” In the series, Allenby-Pratt depicts exactly this disruption, with otherworldly scenes that seem both futuristic and as if time was standing still. He portrays structures that should appear totally out of context, if not for human intervention: endless fields of solar panels and carparks, nuclear facilities under construction, and power lines far out into the ocean, are just some of the creations humankind applauds as progress, while ignoring the more vitally important creations of nature.

Author: Terry Madeley

Works with student data and enjoys reading about art, data, education and technology.

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