In 2018 I investigated the issue of waste pollution in Lebanon through a photographic documentation. The waste consists predominantly of plastic packaging, aluminium cans, plastic bottles, polystyrene and household products and objects. In 2015 there were a series of protests in response to the government's failure to find solutions to the waste crisis. Since then the issue has made international headlines as the water networks of Lebanon regularly flood the country with tonnes of plastic packaging, household and chemical waste.
History accounts Lebanon as one of the oldest permanently inhabited cities in the world, having been connected by the sea and rivers to ancient trade routes and establishing itself as a fishing community, living off the oceans for more than 8,000 years. However Lebanon’s water networks are not formally protected from hunting, fire, urban development, deforestation, water pollution and overgrazing. The water is contaminated with toxic levels of metals, chemicals and bacteria.
These images focus on the mouth of the Beirut river which has been a key focus for protestors and headlines as its here that the waste predominantly enters and exits the country. A continuous theme throughout the work is the juxtaposition of the serene landscapes interrupted by waste pollution, the landscapes have become synonymous with humankind’s influence and attitudes towards their environments.