PHOTOGRAPHS

FUTURE SCENARIOS

Selected images from work in collaboration with Lena Dobrowolska.

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Future Scenarios is an exploration of the themes of vulnerability to, and responsibility for Climate Change, andthe role that narrative plays in shaping our future. Through collaboration with leading Climate Change scientists, researchers and policy makers in the Global South and the UK Dobrowolska and Ormond-Skeaping have learnt how the narrative of vulnerability that once surrounded those nations most vulnerable to Climate Change has developed into a narrative of resilience and adaptation.

The countries once thought of as helpless in the face of Climate Change are now emerging as leaders in the
development of mitigation and adaptation strategies, the use of indigenous resilience and adaptation knowledge,
research into loss and damage, knowledge sharing, renewables and are the closest to decarbonizing their
economies, even though as a group they have contributed the least to total global carbon emissions. While
conversely the developed nations that are principally responsible for climate change and have the greatest
technological and financial resources to tackle it seem to be stuck in a state of political apathy and are making little progress towards mitigation or adaptation.

By foregrounding this new narrative of resilience and adaptation, Dobrowolska and Ormond-Skeaping intend to
reveal how this story opens up a dialogue about a still yet-to-be determined future and how it rejects the
fatalistic narrative about vulnerability that compounds victimhood.

Working with scenarios thinking Dobrowolska and Ormond-Skeaping have pursued indexical representations of
current Climate Change phenomena with the intention of suggesting a palpable imagining of difficult and
improving Climate Change future scenarios. In locations that are vulnerable to and historically responsible for
climate change they have investigated scenarios of climate induced migration, intensified natural disasters, sea
level rise, energy futures, conflict, heat and water stress and food security.

Describing climate change as what Timothy Morton has dubbed a “Hyperobject*” Future scenarios displaces
climate change, skews the responsibility vulnerability divide and reveals the pervasive power relationships that
are inherent to climate change. In this way Dobrowolska and Ormond-Skeaping draw attention to how we are all
responsible for and all vulnerable to climate change, of course not equally responsible, but nevertheless how we
all have a carbon footprint and therefore we all have a role to play in tackling climate change (Dr. Saleemul
Huq).

Operating as a collaborative cross disciplinary investigation, Future scenarios considers how we may represent
climate change through photography and artist film and how we may decolonize nature (T.J. Demos).
Ultimately Dobrowolska and Ormond-Skeaping believe that to decolonise social and natural environments and
begin to envision habitable futures we need to look afresh, and perhaps unlearn old ways of seeing, in order to
allow new narratives and scenarios to arise.

Future Scenarios has been produced in Lao PDR, Bangladesh, Nepal, The United Kingdom and Uganda in
2017-8 following Dobrowolska and Ormond-Skeaping’s participation in the yearlong Culture and Climate
Change: Future Scenarios Networked Residency in 2016-7 which was supported by Culture and Climate
Change, the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, The University of Sheffield, The Open University, The Ashden
Trust. The residency explored the idea of artists working as climate change researchers by connecting artists
with a network of Climate Change researchers, NGO’s, policy makers and institutions such as: The British
Antarctic Survey, The Scott Polar Museum, The Tyndall Centre, The International centre for climate change and
development in Bangladesh (ICCCAD), The IIED, The UNHCR and Jesuit Refugee Services.

*”A Hyperobject is an entity that is so massively distributed in space and time that you can’t point to all of it at once. Even if you use very advanced prosthetic devices like fast supercomputers, it might still be difficult to map one” (T. Morton).