Shoot Nations

International Slavery Museum, Albert Dock
17th January - 28th June 2009

Reviewed by Alfonso Barata

A barely advertised exhibition at the International Slavery Museum brings together two topics to which endless debates and rivers of ink have been and are devoted in today's society: climate change and young people.

Shoot Nation is an exhibition that gives voice (or eye, to be more precise) to young people from all over the globe who - camera in hand - have explored the effects and the impact that global warming is having upon the environment, both at a local and global level.

The results are highly interesting, both from an aesthetic and documentary point of view, for the exhibition showcases images that go beyond the cliché and manage to present us with further evidence of the mess we're in with regards to the environment.

True, not all the pictures exhibited here are fantastic; as in any collective show, there are always some works that may touch us more than others, but surely this is not the point of this exhibition.

What we see here is the graphic cry - loud and clear - of a global generation that is bound to inherit a world whose precious resources have been used and abused time and time again, with little or no regard whatsoever of the consequences.

This point is even more obvious in the case of youths from countries that have, historically, contributed very little to the warming of the planet, Bangladesh being a case in point: a country that has not taken part in the orgy of C02 emissions in which many so-called industrialised countries indulged over centuries, yet at risk of being one of the first to bear the brunt of its consequences.

In short, this exhibition is yet another powerful and effective reminder of the challenges ahead that we - and more importantly those who will come behind us - will have to face.

Which is why it is a shame that Shoot Nations has been reduced to the indignity of being presented in a little corner at the very end of the International Slavery Museum, almost hidden and with little information available (no leaflets the day I visited).

In fact, because of what the photos here displayed tell us and because of its educational content, this exhibition deserves centre stage and big headlines.

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