“Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.”
― Jacques-Yves Cousteau
Mexico’s Caribbean coastline is a tropical reserve of extraordinary beauty. Its location, however, makes it a perfect dumping ground for the trash from all over the world. Artist Alejandro Duran has been trying to make lemonade out of the lemon. He has found trash from 6 continents and 50 nations while walking the beaches of Sian Ka’an. Visually unsettling, his art represents the consumerism that makes its way to undeveloped land.
Leading up to Earth Day, it might be good for us to reflect on Duran’s current project called, “Washed Up,” and addresses the plastic pollution that threatens our oceans and marine life. Some of his photographic images are of the debris as the waves delivered it-a mass of trash washed ashore and left unceremoniously on the beach. Other images are created to mimic the shape of roots, rivers or algae-perfectly depicting the insidious presence of plastic in the natural environment.
Here are a few of my favorite from artist Alejandro Duran’s “Washed Up” collection: