Annals of the Former World

The threat to the natural world and humankind from climate change is now well-established. One of the amazing features of our world is the interconnectedness of everything, from land to sea, from the actions of man to the actions of clouds. This interconnectedness allows humankind to impact the atmosphere and thus the far-flung corners of the Earth, as the most powerful primal elements are subject to other forces given sufficient time.

Even if extreme action were taken now in the face of the climate crisis, many aspects of the natural world have already been or still will be irrevocably changed. Annals of the Former World is my testimony to the wonder of the natural world as we found it, and serves as my record of this world for my own daughter and future generations, both what we had and what we lost, an elegy for a world that will never be the same.

There is, however, still time to reduce the impact of climate change on human populations and the landscapes we hold dear. With Annals, I hope to increase awareness of what is at risk and to advocate for policies and actions on the part of governments as well as all citizens of the world to mitigate the threat as much as possible.

In this project, I have imagined a future history where photographers, inspired by the Great Surveys of the American West after the Civil War, conducted the Anthropocene Surveys to document what would soon be lost for the benefit of future generations. This future history culminates in a museum exhibition in the year 2124 (timeline here, portfolio cover here) that looks back to our current times to introduce museum visitors of the twenty-second century to the wonders of the early twenty-first century via photographs and captions, as seen in the examples below.