Tabish KhanPhotographs Confront Us With How Much We Waste★★★★★5
The Syngenta Photography Award looks to address significant global issues with its annual theme; last year was the division between urban and rural living, and in 2015 it's the ever topical issues of scarcity and waste. Thousands of entries have been whittled down to just 40 exceptional photographers.
The result combines aesthetically beautiful images, such as as the sweeping curves of solar panels in the Nevada desert, to the distressing image of a dead giraffe slumped in an empty riverbed; all the while looking at how we use our resources and the consequences of these actions.
Photographs cover both the developing and the developed world — a 10-year-old Mexican child hospitalised with morbid obesity highlights that having too much can be as bad as having too little.
The strongest works in the exhibition are those that bring the issue of waste close to home, such as a garden in Bromley dwarfed by a 40-foot-tall rubbish heap towering over the neighbourhood's trees. It's also shocking to discover that 140 litres of water is needed to make a cup of coffee, and that 1.6 million tonnes of perfectly edible vegetables are thrown away every year, just because they aren't cosmetically pleasing.
This is a perfect combination of powerful images with an important message about how wasteful humans can be, the consequences of industrialisation and our inefficient use of resources.