Curated by: Eimear Martin
This exhibition presents a selection of photographs from the extensive body of work Ganga Ma – the culmination of a ten-year research project by photographer Giulio Di Sturco. Starting in 2005, Di Sturco has chronicled the course of the river Ganges over 2,500 km, downstream from its source as snow in the Himalayan glaciers through to Bangladesh where it empties into the sea in the Bay of Bengal. Much more than a mere river, for Hindus the Ganges represents the fulcrum of spirituality. Ironically, today the river is one of the most polluted in the world. Its water levels have shrunk drastically and are highly toxic, endangering the livelihoods of over 400 million people who depend on it.
Much of Di Sturco’s work is concerned with the future – the evolution of societies and human adaptation in the face of environmental pressures and technological change and with futurology as an exploration of current trends with a view to forecasting future developments. With Ganga Ma (Mother Ganges), the photographer treats the river as a character in its own right, a ‘living entity’. He provides a poetic and eerie portrait of the river, up close, which compels us to reflect on the momentous impact of climate change, and the destructive legacy of intensive agricultural production, industrialisation, and urbanisation along its banks. Its atmosphere further evokes a near future by revealing, in the present day, the already tangible seeds of a toxic, post-apocalyptic world.