This project represents a collaboration with the activist group No Al Carbone (‘No to Coal’ or NAC), who are a group of environmental activists from Brindisi, Puglia, Italy. The NAC activists have a strong regional presence and for many years have been campaigning against unchecked industrial development in the nearby Brindisi Industrial Zone, which is four times larger than the adjacent city of Brindisi. The Industrial Zone is home to four coal-fired power stations, a host of petro-chemical manufacturing plants and bio-mass incinerators. Furthermore, it has been identified by the Italian government as an ‘Area at High Risk of Environmental Crisis’ (Law number 349/1986/art.1) and as a ‘Site of National Interest for Regeneration’ (Law number 426, 1998). The incredible quantity of pollutants present and their particularly toxic nature have had a devastating impact on the health of the local population and ecosystems alike.
The Almásfüzitő: An Index project was conducted in partnership with Greenpeace, Hungary, in order to protest against a licence issued by the Hungarian Environmental Protection Authority (April 2011), which granted a company named as TATAI permission to blend 166 toxic industrial wastes, and a further 244 non-toxic industrial wastes, into the already toxic red mud ponds of the the Almásfüzitő Aluminium Factory on the banks of the Danube.
At the time of the protest, Greenpeace was preparing a legal case for the EU Commission, in order to hold the Hungarian government to account for issuing a licence to process industrial wastes, which was thought to be in contravention of EU law. Almásfüzitő: An Index was printed and dispatched to twenty influential environmental scientists, EU politicians, representatives of the Hungarian government and EU officials, in a bid to raise the visibility of the environmental health threat offered by the TATAI operation. On 22 November 2013 the European Commission announced their intention to open infringement proceedings against the Hungarian government because of the waste management procedures ongoing at Almásfüzitő, thus vindicating Greenpeace.
Mynydd Parys & Afon Goch Amlwch is a reference to two distinct but inseparable locations, situated on the island of Anglesey, North Wales. The Afon Goch Amlwch River (or the ‘Red River Amlwch’) is a small ‘ecotoxic’ water channel, not more than a few feet in width, which is formed from leachate that gathers in the underground tunnels of the historic copper mine Mynydd Parys (or ‘Parys Mine’). Emerging in the lower slopes of Parys Mountain, the Afon Goch Amlwch River flows on land for some two kilometres, before passing through the town of Amlwch and into the Irish Sea. This small watercourse provides ‘the single largest source of copper entering the Irish Sea’ with the result that the Afon Goch Amlwch River is one of the most highly concentrated toxic water channels in the UK. This web gallery represents a condensed and simplified depiction of the realised project; originally mineral samples were taken from within the frame of the image, and those results were compared with environmental quality standards.
Conohar is a Senior Lecturer in photographic theory and a practicing artist at the School of Film & Media, University of Lincoln. His research interests concern the representation of industrial pollution in photography, and the application of art as a tool for environmental advocacy. As part of his artistic practice Conohar photographs using the name of Environmental Resistance. This title refers to the creation of a repository in which Conohar documents incidents of industrial pollution and ecological in-justice. Working in this fashion takes into account the photographer’s reliance upon a coterie of specialists from other disciplines who have made important contributions to his research projects. As a critic, Conohar is currently writing a monograph on the subject of ‘Photography & Environmental Activism: Visualising the Struggle against Industrial Pollution’, which will be published by Routledge in 2022. This publication makes ontological claims for photography and environmental activism in contemporary culture, while also tracing its origins. Additionally, Conohar conducts and disseminates his research through the University of Lincoln’s Centre for Ecological Justice (LinCEJ), where he acts as a faculty board member. LinCEJ seeks to portray, understand, and deliver ecological justice struggles internationally through inter-disciplinary research projects, which seek to address a number of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.</p
Environmental Resistance: art for change. Collaborative working practices. In: Photographers and research: the role of research in contemporary photographic practice (2017). Focal Press, UK. ISBN 9781138844322
This illustrated article details the rationale behind Dr. Conohar Scott’s decision to work collaboratively under the name of Environmental Resistance.
Photographing mining pollution in gold rush California (2017) Photographies, 10 (2). pp. 189-209. ISSN 1754-0763
This paper draws comparison between three photographers who documented the North Bloomfield Mining Co.’s (1866-1899) hydraulic gold mine, in California. The history of the North Bloomfield Mining Co. is of interest because of the role that photography played in promoting the interests of corporate capitalism, and conversely acting as an evidential tool for farmers whose lands were flooded by polluted tailings emanating from the mine. The company twice commissioned Carleton Watkins to document their undertakings; however, this paper argues that the aesthetic of the ‘industrial sublime’ originating in Watkins’ photographs obfuscates an understanding of the ecological realities of mining. Alternatively, this paper presents two lesser-known photographers, J.A. Todd and ‘Clinch’, who adopt a counter-aesthetic approach to Watkins. Todd’s photographs from the Woodruff vs. North Bloomfield  trial were presented as evidence in the first collective civil action in US legal history, which pitched the interests of farmers against the corporate mining industry.
The eco-anarchist potential of environmental photography: Richard Misrach’s & Kate Orff’s Petrochemical America (2019). In: The Routledge Companion to Photography Theory. Routledge, UK. ISBN 9781138845770
Taking Richard Misrach’s & Kate Orff’s publication Petrochemical America (2012) as a starting point for a range of debates, this paper argues that environmental photography has a crucial role to play in bringing about an awareness of environmental ethics, which can aid activists and autonomous groups such as citizen scientists in their struggle against industrial pollution. Key to this debate is the definition of the term environmental photography as a multimodal and collaborative genre of cultural production, which promotes the political values of eco-anarchist theories such as social ecology, through the medium of aesthetics.
Dr. Will Mayes is a Reader in Environmental Geoscience in the faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Hull. He specialises in a range of scientific research projects, which includes analysing the legacy of environmental pollution emanating from steelworks and mines in post-industrial locations. As part of his research, Dr. Mayes is interested in developing new technologies for resource recovery in industrial processes, and in the restoration of wetland and floodplain habitats which have suffered contamination.
Jussi is a Senior Lecturer and deputy programme director for Games Computing, University of Lincoln, UK. He teaches, and researchers, game design while his other research interests include more general interaction design issues, especially related to augmented reality and synthetic media. Jussi holds a PhD in Digital Game Development from Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden. He has been researching game design and gameplay experiences since 1998, having authored or co-authored scores of academic publications. Jussi serves as a member of the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) executive board and is a member of several program committees such as Games and Culture, Game Studies, CHI PLAY, and the DiGRA annual conference. Before moving to University of Lincoln early 2017, he worked at Centre for Game Design Research, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, after a career of almost seventeen years at Nokia Research Center (NRC) in Finland. At NRC he was involved in coordinating several industry and academia research projects, especially in user experience design for emerging technologies.
Fiona Allen is a freelance photographer and graphic designer based in the East Midlands, UK.