Last year, while hiking through the lost valley located in the surroundings of Zermatt, Switzerland, the rivers created by the melting glacier caught my attention. During the same week, I did another hike in the region and was confronted with other rivers created by different glaciers- all watering down to the valley. The thought that glaciers are rapidly losing their presence throughout the years pressed into my mind during my entire stay.
The idea flew in of creating art to raise awareness about the fact. And with it, support an organization engaged in the subject with the sale of the pieces. What then initiated only as an idea will this year come to fruition. In July, I had the opportunity to stay at the Hotel Pollux to create photographs in the region of Zermatt as the first step for upcoming events. It was a fantastic experience to explore the site with a different eye and focus - capturing with the camera the beauty of these majestic ice giants or the areas where one once resided.
I've visited three Glaciers - Findel-, Gorner- and Zmuttgletscher. Research, searching for the perfect timing of the day and hiking were part of the process (including overnights in the mountain huts to allow me to catch that perfect timing of the day). Most images were created with the drone, but the camera was occasionally also used - an adventure in various senses.
50% of the sale of the pieces will be donated to the organization Protect Our Winters Switzerland - a group of outdoor lovers committed to protecting the environment, raising awareness, educating and putting for political initiatives in prone of the planet's well-being. The creation of this project has been a true rollercoaster. When working so closely on a climate issue, emotional turmoil seems to arise inside. Did you know that if we don’t act now, Swiss glaciers might completely disappear by 2100, and the water supply from the mountains would shorten by up to 50% during summer? It makes you question so much.
As in any project, unexpected route deviations (both negative and positive) pop up unannounced and force you to think and act fast to respond on time, strengthening the rollercoaster feeling even further. Back at general information about the project...In total, two events will open the discussion about the issue at hand (melting glaciers and climate change). On September 3rd, the first part took place at the premises of the Hotel Pollux with local specialities and a first presentation of the project. The topic was "so close, but yet so far". The mountain villages are physically close to the glaciers but far away from finding a solution to the problem. Also, the glaciers are retreating yearly, becoming farther away from the valley and, in some cases, even disappearing.
In Zürich, the second event, with the presence of POW and other speakers who are daily involved with the topic at hand, will take place at the Impact Hub Viadukt on November 3rd. The title will be "so far, but yet so close" - though the city is physically far from the glaciers and not so clearly visible, the problem impacts the citizens closely.
At the end of the day, we are all affected by the outcomes of climate change, independent of where we choose to reside. The question remains: when will we start acting and using our power as individuals to strive for (positive) change? With this project, I aspire to raise not only awareness but also foster action. Together, we can make a difference. Will you be part of the change?
Visit the projects website ART FOR IMPACT
Register for the event on the 3rd of Nov here