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Latin American Fotografia: Renata Duarte

By David Schonauer   Wednesday May 25, 2016


Climate change is coming to the end of the world.

Ushuaia, a resort town on Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego archipelago, at the southernmost tip of South America, has been nicknamed the “End of the World.” It is a windy place, surrounded by the Martial Mountains and the Beagle Channel, and the embarkation point for Antarctica cruise ships.

Sao Paulo, Brazil-based photographer Renata Duarte knows the area well, having once worked for a cruise-ship line as a photographer. Recently, Duarte has been working on a personal project focusing on climate change.

“Here in Brazil climate change has become a huge deal,” she says. “I wanted to try to create images that would warn people about all the issues  surrounding climate change — what’s been happening and could happen if we don't change our attitude about the environment.”

One of her photographs was named a winner of the Latin American Fotografia 3 competition. It features a landscape that is all about water, in all of its states. “When I took this particular picture, I tried to capture all the different forms of water — clouds, ice and liquid,” Duarte says. “I tried to show what extreme temperatures could and will do in our ecosystem and what is at stake.”

Beyond its symbolic meaning, Duarte’s LAF-winning photograph is a beautiful study in shapes and monochromatic tones. “I tried to capture all the shades of black and white available to the naked eye,” says Duarte.

Duarte has been a photographer for nine years. “I remember the first time I picked up a camera. The only thing that I could think was, ‘How can I take pictures?’ I was very frightened,” she says. “But I overcame my fear and started to take pictures, and I just fell in love with photography. Now after all these years I can't imagine my life without a camera in my hands.”

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Dispatches from Latin America