In my last post I featured a photograph of an unused structure out in the desert near Dubai, a concrete amphitheatre. It turns out there was more to explore.
My last photo blog on Green Prophet featured one of the many sites in the Hajar Mountains from which construction aggregate is extracted. This time I’m showing a different kind of mountain on the outskirts of Dubai. This is a landfill for building rubble.
Ask yourself: if you lived in the deep desert, where the sand burns your soles at midday, would you run outside and play soccer? No sane person should. But Dick Sweeney has sent us thought-provoking images of soccer posts in extreme environments that reveal just how much Arabs love their football.
Irish artist David Thomas Smith weaves thousands of Google Maps screen grabs into intricate designs mimicking Persian rugs. Look closer, and these symmetrical compositions reveal global landscapes transformed by mankind. Imagine a carpet made up of aerial satellite images of modern infrastructure: concrete roads and rooftops replacing fiber weft and warp. See this artist’s “rug” […]
This is a Chevrolet logistics depot in the Jebel Ali Freezone in Dubai. A rough estimate from studying the site on google earth puts the number of cars at about 8000 (on 12 Aug 2012.) Have a look for yourself at 24°55’40.06″N 55° 6’6.28″E. I’ve heard it said that American car manufacturers in the 1950s started […]
Unleash your inner Thoreau, show the human side of sustainability and and win $10,000 for a creative nonfiction essay. Have you been lucky enough to Dance at the Dead Sea but then couldn’t help but notice its destruction? Or you’ve have had the rare chance to travel and surf through unknown parts of Iran. Perhaps you […]
Plastic bottle cap picture by Mary Ellen Croteau The caps are synthetic artifacts, plastic products that usually aren’t (and more often, can’t be) recycled. Self-described political artist Mary Ellen Croteau explores absurdities of social norms, exposing the “underlying bias and sexist assumptions on which culture is constructed. So says her website, but her amazing artworks also […]
Richard Allenby-Pratt’s popular Abandoned photo series still haunts us. Currently based in Dubai, the professional photographer received numerous accolades for extraordinary compositions that depict wild animals meandering through a deserted Dubai. How surreal, and yet not so far removed from the truth, it is to see rhinos and giraffes searching for food amid a backdrop […]
Laurie recycles a Jordanian political poster into a handbag. Here’s how she does it. Voting is underway for Jordan’s Parliament. I’m not running, but I have this one in the bag! Hundreds of posters are hanging along Amman roadways; a somber assemblage of Middle Eastern manhood, mostly mustachioed. No wonder there’s tension in the lead-up […]
A UK-based scientist has removed trees from world famous works of art to highlight the threat of deforestation In the field of climate change, we are constantly asked to imagine nightmarish scenarios. Situations where water may run dry, where mass migrations are provoked by food shortages or where extreme weather events on the rise. These […]
Whether your sandy reminiscences are wet or dry, two artists have devised ways to make your memories tangible. My brain inextricably links sand to sea thanks to 25 summers spent on a New Jersey barrier island. Middle East experiences have me now connecting the grainy stuff to locations and memories largely devoid of water, such […]
Magnificent public art or environmental boondoggle? Oil drums stacked to the height of the Giza pyramids. Christo, the artist who temporarily wrapped acres of fabric around the Pont Neuf and the Reichstag, now plans to stack thousands of empty oil drums in the Abu Dhabi desert in his first ever permanent installation. The finished work […]
In a bid to highlight our water use and waste, photographer Peter Holmes has created a series of memorable portraits of water use in different countries. “Statistics about water consumption are difficult to comprehend and are un-relatable to everyday life – this project attempts to make water consumption visible in a meaningful way.” Well, that’s […]
Trash Theatre is a free theatre performance about trash – it’s taking place across Lebanon’s coast I think it’s safe to say that ‘10453: A Story About Life in 1 km2 of Trash’ is unlike any theatre production you have ever heard of. Firstly, it’s free and takes place outdoors in various locations across the Lebanese […]
We’ve never been able to shake the vision of an apocalyptic Dubai – a seemingly inevitable time when the scores of largely unoccupied skyscrapers inching towards the Gulf will be evacuated and swallowed up by the surrounding desert. And now renowned British photographer Richard Allenby Pratt has created a series of images called Abandoned that […]
Israeli Opera Festival 2012 will feature five performances of the classic opera, Carmen, June 7 to 11 at Masada. According to the Israeli Opera’s Artistic Director, Michael Ajzenstadt, 50,000 people from across Israel and all over the world are coming to experience opera at the lowest point on earth, beneath the mountain of Masada and […]
“I am the Lorax and I speak for the trees.” What would nature’s ambassador tell us? Children’s author Theodore Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) used this question as inspiration for his classic ecological fable, The Lorax. His simple message is that when limited resources (such as truffula trees) are consumed without care, entire ecosystems (singing […]
Saudi Artist Abdulnasser Gharem is surviving on oxygen released by this tree in the Gulf. If you’ve ever had a plastic bag around your face, even for a second, you will know how quickly it cuts off the oxygen supply. Depending on your character, this can result in immediate panic, or in my case, extreme […]
Libyan sculptor Ali Al-Wakwak has transformed the charred remnants of war into inspiring creations Around a week ago, Libyans celebrated the first anniversary of the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi. It’s certainly been a turbulent year for Libyans and although the future isn’t as certain as some would hope, thousands took to the streets to celebrate […]
A powerful short film by Iranian-Canadian filmmaker Raha Shirazi, Acqua will make you look at water with new eyes. Raha Shirazi’s film Acqua is almost guaranteed to make you never take water for granted again. In it, a woman walks through snow in search of water with a jar on her back. Everywhere there is water, […]
A film depicting Cairo’s recyclers in garbage city is in the running to receive one of the film world’s most distinguished honors. An independent documentary that depicts the harrowing and honorable life of a family of Coptic Christian trash workers living in Cairo’s garbage city was recently named “Project of the Week” by IndieWire – […]
Palestinian artist Mohamed Abusal envisions converting Gaza’s smuggling tunnels into an underground metro system. A small handful of Bedouin families living in the Gaza Strip ran thousands of smuggling tunnels beneath the Egypt-Gaza Strip separation barrier. In part to transport weapons between Rafah in Egypt and the Rafah Palestinian refugee camp and in part to import […]
Piers Secunda spent years collecting archival footage and crude oil to create these striking historical paintings currently on display at the Aubin Gallery in London. Just like the first gush of black gold that emerged from Saudi Arabia’s inaugural oil well in 1937, the idea to chronicle the petrochemical age came quite suddenly to artist Piers […]
After publishing so many stories about Arabs who offend nature so deeply, the Green Sheikh’s soothing words are especially timely. What links humans, nature and technology is one of the secrets of life. This link should be used to reach sustainability and to seek “Nature’s Wisdom,” which originates from a conscious and extensive belief […]
2,000 miles away from the nearest continent, thousands of baby albatrosses are dying. The cause? Plastic. Over the years, we have watched plastic take a terrible toll on our fauna and flora. We’ve seen it kill our camels, pollute our waterways, and fill the belly of a very sick turtle. The plastic issue is so […]
Pauline Masurel reviews a collection of literary and science fiction stories by world renowned authors that imagine the affects of climate change. Bill McKibben was arrested in August this year while protesting against TransCanada’s proposed plans to build a pipeline that would carry oil from the Alberta tar sands to Texas. McKibben has written: “This […]
Iranian environmental activists and artists are getting bolder. Recently, “tree huggers” planted these stumps on a street in the city of Kerman to protest against deforestation. Sometimes environmental activists are visionary people who take enormous personal risks. Ashley Fruno from PETA was arrested for parading around Jordan covered in nothing but lettuce. Bill McKibben and […]
“Let the world see the openness of Israel,” wrote one participant. Fortunately, mostly positive press dominates the Naked Sea photoshoot, which took place on private property along the shores of the salty lake. Prior to the Spencer Tunick photo shoot at the Dead Sea this Saturday, international coverage of the famed artists latest installation was […]
Batroun is an outpost of beauty in Lebanon. The next generation of environmental activists want to make sure it stays that way. Georges “Junior” Daou belongs to the next generation of Lebanese. A long time nature-lover, he has devoted himself full time to rejecting toxic waste in Beirut, consistent oil spills that degrade the Mediterranean […]
For Muslims who cannot grow celebrated beards, this is for you! A brilliant tongue-in-cheek DIY post for making your own knitted, crocheted and sustainable beard.