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Dysturb x Magnum Foundation COP21

In the weeks following the terrorist attacks in Paris, activists and artists have banned together to assert how important it is to resume cultural activities associated with COP21 and to collectively take the next step as a society and a species to protect our shared planet.

One such project that emerged last week in Paris is #reframeclimate, a collaboration between New York based non-profit Magnum Foundation and the grassroots, Paris-born group #Dysturb. Both Magnum Foundation and #Dysturb share values in finding new and broader avenues for documentary photography to be seen and to garner public attention on critical, global issues.

Being in Paris, Magnum Foundation chose to partner with #Dysturb to leverage their existing presence and  the thriving network they’ve been building for the past two years. Together, they curated 25 images by documentary photographers across a vast range of countries and agencies that #reframeclimate.

Under the cover of night, Magnum Foundation and #Dysturb pasted large-scale, black-and-white prints throughout the neighborhoods of Paris. Come daylight, passersby were confronted with compelling work investigating climate related issues and solutions, and challenging the notions of what climate change imagery looks like.

Each pasting also presents a pertinent scientific statistic and a prompt for an SMS interaction to hear the story behind the image directly from the photographer. Not being an expert on climate change, Magnum Foundation invited researchers from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies to draw from their work on climate resilience, environmental justice, and urban governance, and to distill their findings into facts to be matched with each image.

Supported by and developed by a team of students and research residents at the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU Tisch, the SMS interaction allows viewers to text a key word to a number and then immediately receive a phone call with an audio recording from the photographer. This can also be accessed internationally by anyone looking at the collection online. In unison with informative, scientific facts, it was a priority of the project to leverage the voices of those with eyes constantly on our world.

Both #Dysturb and Magnum Foundation believe deeply in making photography accessible. To push this project beyond Paris and extend the possibility for engagement to a global audience, a digital rendering of the installation process is currently being produced by the team at ITP in the form of an embeddable 3D photogrammetry experience. From desktop and mobile, viewers will be able to navigate a selection of the pasting sites, watch the actual pastings, and hear the audio component. This immersive experience memorializes the temporary lives of these pastings and upholds the unique physicality of discovering them in the street.

The participating photographers include: Evgenia Arbugaeva, Jonas Bendiksen, Matt Black, Michael Christopher Brown, Guillaume Collanges, Souvid Datta, Lu Guang, David Guttenfelder, Ciril Jazbec, Ed Kashi, Thomas Lekfeldt, Yuyang Liu, Kadir Van Lohuizen, Gideon Mendel, Nick Moir, Katie Orlinsky, Ed Ou, Paolo Pellegrin, Ruben Salgado, George Steinmetz, Giulio Di Sturco, Ian Teh, and Laurent Weyl.

Individual credits:

Alisa Zomar and Don Mosteller from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
Nancy Hechinger, Lisa Jamhoury, Supreet Mahanti, Julia Irwin, and Rosalie Yu from ITP
Simone Salvo and Sara Hylton of Magnum Foundation
Pierre Terdjman, Benjamin Girette, Benjamin Petit, Kyla Woods, and Capucine Bailly of #Dysturb
Compton Foundation and for their integral support