Photo Journal Monday: Eva Verbeeck
Eva Verbeeck is a Belgian-born documentary photographer and filmmaker. She is based between Brussels, Belgium and Savannah, Georgia. Her family traveled around the world for most of her life which fused her love for visual storytelling with her deep interest in social justice, youth culture, and activism. After studying human rights and international law in Brussels, Eva traveled to Ethiopia and Kenya to document the growing climate crisis in eastern Africa. During the past years, her personal work has revolved around environmental issues, human rights, gender and the exploration of identity.
She is currently working on a long-term project in the Southern United States on youth culture and gender identity. Eva is a co-founder of a documentary production company and artist collective Juniper, for which she serves as a director, producer, and curator.
Her work has been published by a variety of publications such as National Geographic, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, NPR, De Morgen, De Volkskrant, Collective Quarterly, Vice, Outside magazine, and The Atlantic.
Looking for Water
The world's climate is changing at exponential rates unseen at any time in human history. It is arguably the greatest threat to global stability that we have ever seen. While politicians continue to debate the impact that humans have on global climate change, extreme weather patterns such as droughts and floods are projected to increase the number of sudden humanitarian crises. As climate change continues, people living closer to the equator will see the most immediate changes which threaten their ability to access clean water and grow subsistence crops.
One area largely affected by climate change is eastern Africa. Although this part of the world has a thriving tourism and commodity export industries, more than half the population lives below the poverty line and millions lack safe drinking water. Indigenous tribes have been forced to leave their land because of extreme heat and extended periods of drought that threaten their ways of life.
Dams built by the government on the Omo River in Ethiopia are causing hunger and conflict amongst tribes living in these parts of the world. The indigenous communities rely on the natural flood cycles of the Omo River for their sustainable practices of flood-recession farming, fishing, and livestock grazing. They plant sorghum, maize and beans in the riverside soils after the yearly flood, relying on the moisture and nutrient-rich sediment the Omo deposits each year. The dams and extreme temperatures cause periods of extreme drought. Tribes are forced to leave these ancient lands. When they leave their culture and knowledge disappears with them.
The past three years I have lived with many different tribes to photograph their daily lives and the consequences of climate change. These photos show their daily lives and the consequences of climate change in this part of the world.
To see more of Eva’s work, visit her website here