How can we, in Central Europe, depict the climate crisis and speak about it using a language other than that of science?
The eleventh edition of the Fotograf Festival, with its theme of „Earthlings”, tasks itself with showing the traces, perspectives, and communication channels offered by the planet itself, thanks to which we can start becoming Earthlings – competent observers of the changes taking place in our immediate surroundings, changes that cannot be understood without understanding broader planetary contexts (depletion of water reserves, devastating floods, soil erosion, agricultural problems, unbearable summer heatwaves, and forest disasters).
At present, the public debate only includes the voices of scientists, bureaucrats, or politicians, who use the authority of expert images to describe ongoing changes and forthcoming catastrophes. Public space presents no images that exceed the established norms of scientific representation, and those who are directly affected by these changes are heard little or not at all. The presence of the planet as an active force producing its own images and means of disseminating them, however, gives power to these alternative voices and images.
The festival does not aim to deny or reject scientific images and languages – quite the contrary, it aims to consider them as a component in a broader range of aesthetics. In their disparateness and difference, these can describe the real terrain of what it means to inhabit the planet – how to be an Earthling, both generally and here and now, in Central Europe.