Growths Twisted Beauty 2011

Growth Ed. teNeues 2011

Growth’s Twisted Beauty – Sue Steward

Many photographs used more traditional routes to approach our planet's problems of population growth, waste and pollution. The artists have applied a rich variety of technical, compositional, conceptual and theoretical approaches, but monochrome remains a common language for photojournalists raised on the Magnum model. It is refreshing to see the many non-Western photographers documenting crises in their own countries.
Overpopulalion and migration are dominant subjccts linked to the consequences of need,greed, pollution, waste, appalling housing and horrendous working conditions. The sprawl
of towns and cities ail over the world has led to the rise of the slums, shanty towns and favelas that are a source of inspiration for many photographers in this book. In 1950, 29 per cent of the world's population was urban, now it stands at 50 per cent, and UN forecasters predict two billion people will live in urban poverty by 2030.
The most familiar examples are the vast favelas of Rio de Janeiro which cling limpet-like to the hillsides. Julio Bittencourt points his câmera into the Windows of one favela block and engages vvith the residents in a voyeuristic dialogue between outsider and inhabitant.
In contrast, Claudia Jaguaribe romanticises these favelas by using digitised, super-bright
colours. Her significant aerial shots, taken from a helicopter, deliver unfamiliar views
which illustrate scale and physical proximiiy to conventional neighbourhoods.