Artist Anne de Carbuccia travels the world documenting environmental issues, and her haunting photographs evoke a powerful call to action
Words by Maria Coole
‘Antarctica is at the front line of climate change,’ says photographer Anne de Carbuccia, after visiting the continent to record environmental changes in a series of compelling images. ‘I was only allowed 30 minutes on the iceberg, as it could have capsized at any time. I quickly placed some seal skulls I’d borrowed from a biologist on the ground around a whale bone. When I finished, the wind dropped and the sun radiated a golden light.’
Carbuccia’s temporary time shrines appear in each of the French-American’s photographs, in locations such as North Dakota and Italy’s Lampedusa, all part of her ongoing artistic project, One Planet One Future. The staged compositions of a skull and an hourglass represent the futility of life and the inevitable passing of time. Each is completed with organic elements and objects chosen by Carbuccia for their symbolic meaning. ‘My work is about resilience. I make it to seduce the viewer into action, rather than to please them,’ she says.
In 2016, Carbuccia established the non-profit Time Shrine Foundation to make a strong case for change by combining photography, film and art installations, raising awareness of the ongoing environmental crisis. ‘The consequences to flora, fauna and people are devastating,’ she says. ‘We only have five to ten years to reset, or there will be nothing left to photograph except devastation for the next generation.’
‘We only have five to ten years to reset, or there will be nothing left except devastation’
The mother-of-three admits her passion stems from ‘channelling my own anxieties as a mother’ for the future of the planet. Through educational talks and exhibitions, she works closely with young people to promote change through small steps. ‘There is a new generation of leaders who, in a few years’ time, will make a big difference,’ she says of her collaboration with a host of activists on a new film project. Her first film, One Ocean, a short documentary about the impact of climate change on the sea, had its world premiere at the 75th Venice International Film Festival last year to critical acclaim.
Her next shoot will be on the outskirts of Rome in an area known as fridge valley. ‘It’s where people dump fridges in their thousands. Our daily thoughts and actions affect the planet as a whole, and that’s empowering because it means that if we choose to, we can change the future of the world overnight.’
For more details, visit annedecarbuccia.com and make a donation at oneplanetonefuture.org. This will help it continue its work with schools and local communities to secure the future of the planet.