General Project Information
I have been to the Dominican Republic twice to photograph, the first time was to document the culture and the second time was to document the rapid and historical expansion of the largest Caribbean lake, Lake Enriquillo. The later was done in collaboration with scientists at the GROVE School of Engineering at the City College in NYC as well as INTEC in Santo Domingo, DR. Lake Enriquillo has doubled it's size in the past 5 years and displaced hundreds of people living and working on its banks. Due to the fact that the salinity level of the lake is higher than the ocean and is home to an over abundance of alligators, the water body is not useful in daily life to those that live on its banks. With its expansion, comes displacement of homes and farms as subsistence farming is the most common way of life there. In addition to Lake Enriquillo, there is a mirror lake only a few miles away in Haiti that is experiencing identical growth patterns and it is thought that the two lakes may combine at some point soon. The scientist studying this issue believe that this growth is due to environmental changes and may have implications for other regions of the world.
Why I Want to Go Back
During my first trip to Lake Enriquillo I feel that I documented the periphery of the issue, what it looked like from an outside perspective but not from the perspective of the people living there. I am planning to go back to the communities that have been affected and take a look beyond the scientific research to understand the human impact of this phenomenon. I would like to document the stories of the people living in this region through
and video footage
The final outcome would be a series of photographs as well as a multi-media piece. The people affected by the lake growth are some of the most vulnerable, people who do not necessarily have the ability to relocate or find a different way of life. My hope is that by telling some of these stories and giving people a voice I may inspire other people to help this situation. The work that I have already done in this region has been donated to the Dominican Studies Institute of NYC to be used for educational purposes in higher education as well as secondary education. I plan to continue collaborating with the Dominican Studies Institute to provide information on the topic.
The Use of Funding
The funding would be for travel to the Dominican Republic and Haiti, hiring locals to help translate the language and provide connections to the communities, embedding myself in the community for a month, editing a multi-media project, printing photographs and finally the dissemination of the project.
- (45 days)