Message from the Gyre

Our plastics pollution affects birds living on the Midway coral islands, even though these islands are 2,000 miles from the nearest continent.

These poignant and disturbing images are from the Seattle-based, internationally acclaimed photographer, artist, and cultural activist Chris Jordan, aptly named “Message from the Gyre”.

Photo by Chris Jordan

Introduction from Chris Jordan’s Midway photographs:

On Midway Atoll, a remote cluster of islands more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent, the detritus of our mass consumption surfaces in an astonishing place: inside the stomachs of thousands of dead baby albatrosses. The nesting chicks are fed lethal quantities of plastic by their parents, who mistake the floating trash for food as they forage over the vast polluted Pacific Ocean.

For me, kneeling over their carcasses is like looking into a macabre mirror. These birds reflect back an appallingly emblematic result of the collective trance of our consumerism and runaway industrial growth. Like the albatross, we first-world humans find ourselves lacking the ability to discern anymore what is nourishing from what is toxic to our lives and our spirits. Choked to death on our waste, the mythical albatross calls upon us to recognize that our greatest challenge lies not out there, but in here.

Photo by Chris Jordan

Photo by Chris Jordan

More on Chris Jordan’s work here, or click on the photo below from his latest book Ushirikiano: Building a Sustainable Future in Kenya’s Northern Rangelands
(teNeues Publishing Group, 2011)

2 thoughts on “Message from the Gyre

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