في ضوء التغيير

In the Light of Change

Elwely Vall

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This is a story about the future. Today is us, tomorrow is you.

Every second, we get closer and closer to the future we have set, and the future we have chosen. Unstable governments, population explosion, wars on every continent, famine, water shortages, environmental pollution, cities sinking, rivers running dry, cultures disappearing - are we on the brink of the end?

Driven by my passion for photography, I want to change humanity's view of the future and the impact of climate change. I lived this first-hand when ocean waters flooded the house where I was born and raised in the Mauritanian capital of Nouakchott.

Places that were part of our daily lives and part of our collective memory are disappearing, and I am photographing the present in the face of an ominous future. But what if these moments are the future, based on the words of scientists and the experiences of cities and human souls? What if my camera were projecting these destined moments?

I imagine these photographs as signals to a monitoring device that broadcasts to the future - and this device seeks to convince the world to change.

Mauritania

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In the region of Dakfeg, there are only a few wells with water left. The majority of wells have gone dry. Farmers and their families collect water in plastic containers to keep in their homes for household chores. Clay jars are used in order to cool the water.

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Two shepherds at a sheep marked in Kourissy - because of the drought, the price of feeding their livestock has risen dramatically. Since they cannot afford to feed their animals, they must sell them at discounted prices. Usually, a goat fetches $118 US dollars. Today they must sell them for $50 US dollars.

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Grub worms began appearing in 1998 due to soil change. These are considered to be some of the most destructive agricultural pests because they enter the stalks and spoil them from the inside to eliminate the plant. This led to farmers resisting them with poisons and toxic pest control chemicals which contaminates the agricultural produce, contributing to the possibility of famine in the region.

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A 36-meter well runs try in the Al Saada region on the road between Rosso and Bohga.

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An abandoned school in Nouakchott, the Mauritanian capital has partially sunk under water from the rise in the levels of the Atlantic Ocean. The city of Nouakchott is thought to be one of the top ten cities in the world affected by global warming. Some experts believe Nouakchott is threatened to sink completely in 2020.

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Massoude, a farmer, gestures to the land where his farm used to be in Dakfeg, Mauritania. Because of the drought, the farm no longer exists.

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Elwely Vall

Mauritania

Born in 1998 in Nouakchott, Mauritania, Elwely Val is a freelance documentary photographer exploring local social and environmental issues in Mauritania through visual storytelling strategies. His work has been exhibited at the Addis FotoFest, Ethiopia in 2019, as well as exhibitions in Algeria, Senegal, and the United Arab Emirates.

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