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Every minute a whole truckload of plastic is dumped into the sea

Between 1950 and 2015 8.3 bn TONS OF PLASTICwere produced worldwide. This is the equivalent of more than 1 ton per person currently living on earth. Every year about ten million tons of plastic waste end up in the sea, more than 500,000 tons of which are from Europe alone.
Disturbing images of sea turtles strangled by plastic cords or fish stomachs full of plastic bags have already been imprinted on our minds by the media.
We are destroying our oceans and their creatures and forget that we are not only destroying their habitat but also our own.
“My journeys around the world have enabled me to capture the beauty of nature with my camera.
My approach to nature is expressed by moments, emotions and impressions which I strive to express through my photographs.
Due to my passion for diving I have witnessed our oceans’ plastic pollution in its most direct form” says Franke.

The Idea

“I have concerned myself with shocking images of ocean pollution for a long time, but I couldn’t help but notice that people are getting used to this kind of images, and that they no longer pay attention to them after a while.

As a father I don’t want to image that my children will no longer be able to enjoy the oceans in all their diversity and beauty as I have so often been allowed to.

This thought was the driving force behind my idea of the project Plastic Ocean.

Beauty, harmony and our future depend directly on the preservation of our oceans, and this has made me photograph women and children surrounded by plastic waste and give individual objects a leading part in my compositions.

I collected this plastic waste on a beach near Venice within a few hours.

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The Exhibition

To increase the project’s impact, the finished pieces of art were exhibited in the place where the problem is the biggest: The very ocean itself.

During an underwater exhibion on the wreck of the USS Vanderberg, which is now an artificial reef off the coast of Key West, the pictures were exhibited 30 m below the surface for three months, and visited by thousands of divers.

When the pieces were taken back to the surface, a unique patina made by algae and microorganisms, which had materialised on the plexiglass layer of the photographs, was to be admired.

“Although solving global problems like ocean pollution seems impossible, with this series I wish to convey that everyone can contribute to saving the oceans.

We must consider alternatives and must not forget that even a small step can have a significant impact.”, says Andreas Franke.

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