Midway Island (Trash Island)
Trash Island is a NextNow collaboration project in cooperation with the Plastic Pollution Coalition (PPC) to raise awareness on plastic pollution through the use of science, art, and digital technology. It incorporates interactive, educational tools, and a world-wide outreach campaign. In fact, Trash Island was the catalyst for the founding of PPC.
The Trash Island initiative led directly to another collaboration, Midway Journey, which documents the environmental tragedy that is taking place on Midway–but beyond mere documentation, the ultimate purpose of this trip to the Midway Islands is to confront the vital question: how can we move through grief, denial, despair and immobility in the face of severe environmental tragedy, into new territories of acceptance, possibility, and wise action?
The Press Release announcing the Journey:
Artist Chris Jordan Heads to Pacific Garbage Patch
A few years ago, a small group of artists led by photographer Chris Jordan travelled to Midway Island to document a profound and symbolic environmental tragedy.
Each spring, millions of albatross come to nest on Midway. These birds are dying in enormous numbers because, instead of finding food in the waters of the Central Pacific, they are filling their stomachs with floating plastic garbage: cigarette lighters, toothbrushes, bottle caps, combs, magic markers, printer cartridges, and other disposable objects from our daily life. The adult albatrosses feed this trash to their chicks, many of which die as a result.
During this journey, the artists filmed, photographed, wrote, blogged, and shared their experiences on the social networks. These multimedia materials resulted in a series of art exhibitions, a book, educational materials, videos, poetry, and a documentary film.
“But even more,” Jordan wrote on his Website, “we are embarking on an introspective journey to confront a vitally relevant question: In this time of unprecedented global crisis, how can we move through grief, denial, despair and immobility into new territories of acceptance, possibility, and wise action?”
As the artists seek for answers, they will be exploring the different layers of metaphor and symbolism that overlap on Midway. “Going to photograph the tragedy of the albatross is a fairly literal project, but the metaphorical possibilities are immense,” Jordan said.
Filmmakers Bill Weaver and Jan Vozenilek documented what plastic pollution is doing to the area, but also the personal and artistic side of this expedition.
Jordan hopes that the various artistic collaborations and social media outreach that will result from this journey will inspire a rethinking of our disposable culture.
More information and links to social media sites at http://www.midwayjourney.com/