Should We or Should We Not?
November 23, 2018
“[T]hey raise this question for me again: In making beautiful photos of environmental pollution and destruction, does the photographer sabotage his or her ecological message? Or, to put it another way: Should we make really ugly, awful pictures if we want to show the harmful effects of contaminants in our air, land, and water? Would anyone even look at them then?
“I have yet to hear a satisfactory answer to this dilemma.”
I have struggled with Alan’s question in presenting my photographs of dumpsters, and certainly the question pertains even more strongly to photographs of oil pollution. Recently I considered this issue in a short essay to go with some photographs of dumpsters for the 2018 Fall issue of Eureka!.*
Here are some new photographs of dumpsters, taken Wednesday. The first two are of a dumpster I have previously photographed. The last is a detail of the third photograph.
*Eureka! is a small literary magazine created by and for residents of Kendal at Oberlin, where I live.