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Climate-induced migration: the survivors

January 29 2019

Robert van Waarden

Climate Visuals has been presented with a unique opportunity to share some of the imagery from a photo series produced by CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation. This series focuses on ‘survivors’ of climate-induced migration.

“A thousand words are not enough to describe my life and what I have been facing in this cursed land. We were born with the fate of victims. God gave cursed lives to those who were born in these northern coastal areas near the Sundarbans. He gave us nothing except sorrow and distress. We live on government land. Every year, over and over again, a cyclone sweeps away everything that we were trying to build through the year.”

Hasina Begum - Bramanbaria, Bangladesh

The images are created by award winning photojournalist GMB Akash and they are beautiful. Their aesthetics become all the more profound when juxtaposed with the heartbreaking stories behind the images.

“For my one and only wrong decision, I lost my whole family in the horrifying 15 November Cyclone Sidr. I don’t know what I should call it - good luck or bad luck.  I am the only one in my family to have survived by holding onto the last tree in our village. I can’t forget how the next morning I was searching for my loved ones and lining up the dead bodies one by one. I lost my two daughters, my only son and my husband that night.”

Fatema Begum - Voirob, Bangladesh

GMB Akash’s powerful written accounts lends added weight to the images of suffering and survival they accompany. As a result this series is a striking illustration of  4 of our 7 Climate Visuals Principles: Show Real People, Tell New Stories, Show Local Climate Impacts, and Show Emotionally Powerful Impacts. When viewed as a body of work it is very likely to have a strong effect on an audience.

The 18 images that we have decided to display are all housed under our ‘Impacts’ Collection. Each image includes a short caption and we encourage everyone to click on the ‘Read More’ at the bottom of each image.

If you wish to reproduce these images in your own material please contact the photographer directly.

”She doesn’t go to school anymore. For us, collecting water is more important than going to school now. We old people used to go to school but this new generation is becoming uneducated. But you know; education only helps when you don’t have to suffer for basic needs like food and water. Now staying alive every day is the biggest fight in our life.”

Hamida Begum (Gabura, Sathkhira)