Mayday, Mayday, Mayday.Planet in distress.

24 May, 2022

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I have now worked full time at Deep Sea Reporter for just over a year and the month of May has come around again and this year it has as usual been a month when the weather can cycle through 4 seasons in a matter of hours. But now it seems as if these rapid and sometimes extreme changes occur at anytime during the year.  

I started my career documenting the struggle to end the repressive apartheid regime in my native South Africa and have over the subsequent 4 decades been filming on the frontlines of many of the conflicts that have defined this short era in our turbulent history. Each conflict leaves heartbreak, destruction and deep scars but they heal and we rebuild. We’re a resilient species. 

I grew up in a remote and beautiful corner of a troubled country, nature has always towered above the bitter  human conflicts. But we seem to be determined to wage war on and conquer our environment. We create bigger and more brutal means of harvesting, mining, extracting  and catching every last resource on our planet. 

I’m still on the frontline with my camera I’m documenting the war that we are now waging on our oceans and on the creatures that inhabit it. I know that long after our civilisation has become a memory the scars will heal and the planet will recover. The big question for us is wether we are prepared to make the compromises and sacrifices that are needed to end any war, but for now it seems that we have pushed the planet into an entire season of May Days.  

Text: Simon Stanford
Photo: Simon Stanford

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