Robert L. Peters

30 January 2010

Plastic… and albatross chicks.





Midway Atoll (middle of the North Pacific)

Chris Jordan is a remarkable Seattle-based photographer/activist who uses his skills effectively to address challenging social issues and redress problems arising from our modern lifestyles. (I’ve often shown his thoughtful and impeccably crafted photographic interventions in talks I’ve given). Midway: Message from the Gyre is a stunning photographic essay that delivers an important message (about avoiding, reducing, or effectively recycling plastics) with uncommon punch—view the entire image collection here. Following is the accompanying text by Chris…

These photographs of albatross chicks were made in September, 2009, on Midway Atoll, a tiny stretch of sand and coral near the middle of the North Pacific. The nesting babies are fed bellies-full of plastic by their parents, who soar out over the vast polluted ocean collecting what looks to them like food to bring back to their young. On this diet of human trash, every year tens of thousands of albatross chicks die on Midway from starvation, toxicity, and choking.

To document this phenomenon as faithfully as possible, not a single piece of plastic in any of these photographs was moved, placed, manipulated, arranged, or altered in any way. These images depict the actual stomach contents of baby birds in one of the world’s most remote marine sanctuaries, more than 2000 miles (3200 kilometers) from the nearest continent.

Keep up the great work, Chris! (thanks to friend Gregor Brandt for the link)

back to News+

© 2002-