01/40 – Mining
The extractive sector - mining, oil and gas - is the main obstacle to achieving the goals of the UN Agenda 2030, such as eradicating poverty, guaranteeing clean water and sanitation for all, and preserving land life.
02/40 – Technological Waste
The electronics industry generates approximately 41 million tons of garbage per year, 90% out of these are illegally traded to be discarded incorrectly in emerging countries.
03/40 – Abusive Fishing
Predatory fishing is responsible not only for the decline of numerous marine species but also for the degradation of large areas of the seabed.
04/40 – Financial Markets
Financial speculation causes more socio-environmental damage than climate change in developing countries. According to the UN the masive flux of patrimony from countries with no economical impact on the local community is one of the main reasons for the unequal world we live in.
05/40 – Garnment Manufacture
Globalization has made it possible to produce clothing at increasingly lower prices, prices so low that many consumers consider this clothing to be disposable. The increasing use of man made textiles has a strong impact in the environment, specially from one of the most common fibers in fast clothing industry, polyester.
06/40 – Enery Waste
The increase in electricity consumption and the waste resulting from obsolete installations and appliances has been pushing for new forms of energy in developed countries, but in the emerging areas the obsolete model is repeated and embraced by default.
07/40 – GM Crops
The introduction of transgenic organisms into nature exposes biomes to risks such as loss of genetic heritage and increased use of pesticides, as well as serious health problems to consumers and crop workers.
08/40 – Animal Cloning
Research is underway to produce genetically modified animals for consumption, but studies are still uncertain about possible effects on the consumer's health and the environment.
09/40 – Carbon Emissions
According to the IPCC (International Pannel on Climate Change) emissions issued by transporttation means will have the highest raise mainly coming from emerging countries. Some studies point that by 2020 a 42% of the automobile market in Africa will be based on individual vehicles.
10/40 – The Poles Melting
The collapsing of the Southern Pole ice caps as a result of global warming announces a significant raise of the sea level before the end of this century. According to the records of previous similar contexts that hapenned more than 125 thousand years ago, the sea level could raise betwen 64 and 114 cm until year 2100 in the worst emsission scenario listed by the UN.
11/40 – Plastic Bags
This past decade saw the blossom of plenty of initiatives to control the domestic use of plastic bags around the world. The measures go from straight banning to educational campaigns and investment in research for alternative materials, but we still use 1,5 billion of them per day.
12/40 – Water Waste
According to Unesco studies the limitations to water access is more due to government policies than to lack of natural resources, but we are still far from a sustainable consumption pattern. Amongst the many cause for this water crisis, intensive agricultur and urbanization are leading the ravage.
13/40 – Ozone Layer
Some optimistic studies show a significant recovery of the Ozone layer situation that alarmed the world a few decades ago but we are still suffering from its impact. Skin cancer and melamoma is the most common type of the disease and the predictions announce a growing trend.
14/40 – The Distribution Of Wealth
Almost half of the world's entire wealth belongs to 0,7% of the adult population, composed by Western white men. In Africa 93% of the adults owns less than 10.000$ and more than 30% of the whole continent's wealth sits in tax heavens.
15/40 – Sugar
The World Health Organization recommends the ingestion of 25 grams of sugar daily to achieve health benefits. Most of the sugars consumed by the population are hidden in ultraprocessed foods such as soft drinks, processed juices, seasonings and fast food, all responsible for the increase of diseases like diabetes that has already been announced as this century's epidemy.
16/40 – Gender
The 5th UN Sustainable Development Goal says: "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls." Despite this, governments and manufacturers of personal items continue to produce pieces that reinforce gender discrimination.
17/40 – Antibiotics
Transmission of antibiotic-resistant infections from ingestion of everyday food can lead to the consolidation of superbugs and the deaths of millions of people in this century when no resistance has still been found to avoid the phenomenon.
18/40 – Animal Breeding
The actual practice of large-scale animal breeding for food has devastating impacts on the planet's environment and climate.
19/40 – Wasteland
The global crisis on waste management is even more severe in developing countries, where the volume of waste collection does not even reach half of the amount produced.
20/40 – Plastic Surgery
The search for the perfect body and the imposition of a beauty pattern through the fashion industry has led thousands of women around the world to submit their bodies to unnecessary and risky surgical interventions when the psychological effects of these treatments are still a mistery.
21/40 – Packaging
One third of the domestic waste comes from packaging and 80% of these are discarted after one single use.
22/40 – Logging
More than half of the deforestation in tropical areas was caused by illegal agricultural settlements. Climatic alterations and loss of bio-diveristy are the immediate effects of this uncontrollable disaster.
23/40 – Animal Training
The increasing humanization of the relationship between pets and their owners points among other things to increasingly frequent psychological problems such as depression, anxiety and emotional deprivation in the animals.
24/40 – Culture Hegemony
The cultural patterns sourced in the Northern Western world are still a leading reference in most parts of the planet leaving little room to the specifics of each region and threatening the cultural diveristy that ancient traditions carry.
25/40 – Feminity
In contemporary society the pursuit of an ideal stereotyped beauty results in physical and psychological problems, such as isolation, depression, and eating disorders that affect mainly women around the world.
26/40 – Fertilizers
The intensive use of chemical fertilizers in crops represents not only a problem of environmental degradation but also a threat to the food sovereignty of the least developed countries, which are increasingly dependent on inputs and seeds produced by economic conglomerates.
27/40 – Deforestation
Scientists already announced a new geological era caused by man's action on the planet: Anthropocenus. The intensive use of fire is still one of the main main causes for the diminution of green areas and for global warming. Over 3.5 million km2 of burned areas were detected in the year 2000, of which approximately 80% occurred in areas described as woodlands and shrublands.
28/40 – Genetic Mutations
Industrial pollution of rivers and seas has been causing irreversible mutations to wildlife and irreversibly damaging marine and coastal ecosystems.
29/40 – Heavy Metals Exposure
Although the harmful health effects of heavy metals are well known in the developing world, exposure to these materials continues to increase in areas of the world where safety is not a priority.
30/40 – Oceans Contamination
According to the UN about 90% of all garbage floating in the seas is composed of plastic. If the picture of ocean degradation is not reversed, by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the seas and 99% of seabirds will have ingested this type of material.
31/40 – Fossil Fuels
Negotiations for the definitive replacement of the use of fossil fuels by renewable energy sources by 2050 are proceeding slowly but firmly.
32/40 – Massive Tourism
The uncontrolled development of tourism in various parts of the world has caused environmental and economic losses for the local population that remain after in form of agressive urbanization and dependantlocal economies partucularly in the Caribbean.
33/40 – Childhood Challenges
Children are the hardest hit in contexts of socio-environmental degradation. Improvements in child protection rates around the world are mainly due to collective action involving governments, civil society, the private sector, and increasing low-cost interventions.
34/40 – The Digital Age
Our social behaviour is experiencing an umprecedent shift as we increasingly build a reality around electronic devices and our daily activities are monitored composinga matter made of information that is inevitably traded. The consequences on these changes are the only things still hard to predict. As it is becoming a global phenomenon of dependency.
35/40 – Radiation
Nuclear tests conitune in several parts of the planet and accidents related to nucler power plants even if studies prove that nuclear waste remain in nature for hundreds of years producing health risks and disfunctions in the global ecosystem.
36/40 – Meat Consumption
The current model of meat production requires the destruction of thousands of hectares of forest for pasture processing, as well as the encouragement of soybean and corn monoculture and the use of antibiotic cocktails that result in severe sequelae for the health of consumers. Not eating meat for one day is tantamount to saving enough water for the daily consumption of nine people.
37/40 – The Media
The almost total concentration of written, audiovisual and electronic media makes it difficult to propagate any political and ideological views that disagree with the current model of contemporary development.
38/40 – The Media
The excess of information and exposure to media content is considered one of the main syndromes of this century and results in a decrease in the capacity to reflect critically on information received.
39/40 – Animal Farming
Cheap chicken sold in fast food chains around the world is funded by the exploitation of natural and human resources in a totally unsustainable practice. The diversified necessary philosophy in agricuture has given way to intensive plantation of soy to feed these animals.
40/40 – Violence
Children are more likely to be exposed to violence and crime than adults are. Experience of violence can lead to lasting physical, mental, and emotional harm, whether the child is a direct victim or a witness. Children who are exposed to violence are more likely to suffer from attachment problems, regressive behavior, anxiety, and depression, and to have aggression and conduct problems. Exposure to violence has dranatically increased in the media and in entertainment in the last decades.
The Anthropocenus was officially announced in 2017. Geologists agree on pointing now the action of man as the new engine that defines the whole dynamic of the planet.
Despite the efforts and its obvious failure, an economic model based on the abusive exploitation of natural resources and production of useless goods is still being taken as an example for a prosperous future in most underdeveloped countries.
After decades of historical exploitation by the official metropolis, Africa is now hopelessly embracing the remains of other's mistakes becoming a target market for low quality and highly toxic products with hardly any planning made to manage the “after party”.
We decided to approach all environmental issues as a whole and visually analyze the consequences of this excess in those territories that are more exposed and less prepared to its conseuqences.
We wanted visualise the effects of macro-economics into African micro-routines.
Excessocenus was the winning project at the
Greenpeace Photo Award 2016 and was first exhibited at the Coalmine Museum Winterthur in January 2018.
This website was designed by
Guillermo Brotons and developed by Frederik Delmotte.
Cristina De Middel & Bruno Morais.