Malena Persson Photography
Synergy (together we broke the sea... then we ruptured land).
This project came to be during a backpacking trip to SE Asia in 2012. As soon as I stepped foot on Cambodian soil something awakened. It was no longer just a holiday; I was suddenly there to pay witness. The mountains of trash, the fragile Mekong river system, ancient forests giving way for rubber plantations – it was all juxtaposed against the heart-warming hospitality and goodness of the Cambodians. While their country was being pillaged for natural resources, the people who had nothing gave what little they had. It was a humbling experience, and I wanted to tell their tale. The seed to ‘Synergy’ took root.
Since my visit to Cambodia I have returned to Asia on several occasions. I have seen the contrast between countries. I have seen the smog of industrialism and rapid development. I have seen the remote and the untouched greenery – unspoiled for now. I will continue to see…
Synergy is an ongoing project. It takes the viewers to faraway countries, while still reminding them that we are all connected. Our way of life in the West has spurred others to want what we have. And just as our wealth is built on exploitation, so will theirs be. Eco systems, and the people depending on them, are being trampled on while nations pave their concrete way to progress and prosperity. And we go there, and we dance all night at full moon parties, leaving the tide to take our liability out to sea, together with our cans and bottles and other festive debris. We celebrate, when we should be making waves.
Exhibited as part of Preserve: a Photography Exhibition at the Edinburgh World Justice Festival 2016.