Prima Klima? What has to say the art on climate change


Storms, droughts, Floods – the impacts of climate change goings-on in Europe, every Friday, thousands of students on the street. And what artists do? The photographer Barbara Dombrowski puts his Finger in the wound.

A lonely glacier in East Greenland. Prior to that, photographs of mostly smiling indigenous people of the rain forest. The water reflected their faces. The Scenery looks artificial and oppressive at the same time. The image belongs to a series of photos rightnow “Tropic Ice“ , presented by the artist Barbara Dombrowski in Hamburg. The photographer snaps people to an extreme place, and bring the printed photos and then to another extreme location. In each new environment, a new photo is created. “Tropic Ice” shows people in two climate zones, which could be more contrary: Greenland in the eternal ice and the Amazon rain forest, the lungs of the earth. What Barbara Dombrowski powers?

“People not reached by disaster pictures,” said the trained as a communication scholar, “the to scare us maybe, but they touch us, not really.” Dombrowskis art “dialogues stimulate”, as the photographer in the DW-Interview stresses, in the case of the inhabitants of the rain forest as well as in all the others. A resident of the rainforest in front of a beautiful snowy landscape? Such a picture is irritating. But it is also the story of climate change told. And it connects the people Affected in the North and the South.

A picture from Greenland in the rain forest

Climate change at your fingertips

The Greenlanders told her of the changed Because of the fish, reports Dombrowski, of the seals, which are now further away. Also about the weird warm winters they were concerned. The Accua from the Amazon reported that the weather had changed, that there is, more recently, in addition to rain, other precipitation. Hail, for example. “The knew the not at all,” says the artist, “something it was never before.” These discussions have led Dombrowski climate change first-hand in front of eyes. You have recognized it as their task to focus your lens on the people of these remote places and to show that climate change is already a reality. “We need to show the climate change even more. Art can do more than look beautiful.”

The photographer Barbara Dombrowski in front of your work, “Tropic Ice”

What is the role of the arts in climate crisis?

But what art, what not to do the science? “When it comes to climate protection, I have always the feeling that I’m falling behind the science.” Nevertheless, the artist had, other than a researcher, not with the outstretched index finger pointing to undesirable developments. “The art is just there and lets the viewer draw the conclusions,” says Dombrowski.

That art can, however, support the science, this knowledge is also arrived at the universities. In Helsinki, the course “Ecology and contemporary art is” growing in popularity, young people are trained verstehern to critical Climate. In the Social media climate, critical art and networked visibly: There artist to publish for some time under the of the United Nations established the Hashtag “Art4Climate” works of art on climate change. Their motto: The debate about the right climate can also have a different lead to than just facts and Figures.

Tauendes ice is only a symptom of the climate catastrophe

Art with environmental issues is not new

The idea to connect art with environmental issues, is not a new invention. Already Alexander von Humboldt, of the house of explorers and scientists, drew and painted on his trips of discovery. Previously unknown animals could be pictures much more realistic than it would have succeeded in stories ever. Or the artists, whose members use the collective “Superflex” – your art, to discuss alternative Economies. In her short film “Flooded McDonald’s” you will see how a room in the shortest amount of time will not be flooded, a parable on the rising sea level due to climate change. The three Danish artists raise the question of who bears ultimately the responsibility for climate change. The answer is leave it open.

A native as an Ambassador of climate change from the rain forest

Also, the German environmental Federal office has discovered the potential of the art. For more than 20 years, it has organized a series under the title “art and environment”. It presents artists who take up the subject of the environment. “This also gives us the opportunity, the specialist glasses once more and to look outside the box,” says Fontini Mavromati, the art of Supreme authority officer. Art not fit for the work of mediation, stresses the Mavromati. “But it’s about to get a different view of the facts“.

In the meantime, climate change is progressing. And so Barbara Dombrowski has every day more reasons, your project forward. The photographer would like to expand their exhibition on all five continents. “Climate change affects us all,” she says, “because it is to refrain for the time being, no end.” Neither in art, nor in the debate about climate change.