Giulio di Sturco won a 2014 Getty Images Grant for Editorial Photography for his project Ganges: Death of a River. The Ganges provides sustenance and livelihood for millions of people, and yet it is one of the most polluted waterways in the world. Di Sturco traveled the length of the river in India, and, after winning the grant, completed the project by documenting the Ganges in Bangladesh and the Sundarbans delta. Here, he reflects on the experience:

I first traveled north from where the Ganges enters into Bangladesh from India. I was told that, because of the construction of the Farakka Dam the water on the Bangladeshi side is drying up. To add to this, the shift in seasons causes small char islands to emerge, where the phenomenon of sand grabbing occurs. Thousands of people in huge boats conduct massive operations along the Ganges, where sand is lifted from the bed of the river and transported all over the country for construction. It is an illegal trade and it appears to be getting bigger.

I spent a week in Dhaka documenting 7km of the river that was completely dead. Nothing was alive in the water, mainly due to heavy pollution and chemical waste from the leather factories. I cannot recall visiting any part of the river in either country that I could visibly see to be clean or in its natural state without negative interference from man. Not once did I speak to someone who has had their quality of life improved by interference to the river. A lot of factories have been built creating a lot of jobs, but these industries also poisoned the waters, killing off most life forms and vegetation around it. From what I saw throughout the years I feel there is more bad than good.

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It comes as no surprise that there are chemicals in the Ohio River. But a new report released this week breaks down the numbers and again, this year the Ohio River is the most polluted body of water in the United States for the seventh year in a row. According to the Ohio River Valley Sanitation Commission, the most recent Toxic Release Inventory report for the Ohio River, 23 million pounds of chemicals were dumped into the Ohio river by industries and businesses in 2013. 

This article focuses on the river flowing west of Appalachia, but remains true of the river within. Unsurprising, yet unsettling.

Well, this is depressing

Plastic in our oceans might not present the immediate danger to humanity that toxic waste or fracking does, but the problem has officially reached terrifying proportions. An alarming new study released Wednesday reveals that the ocean is cluttered with 270,000 tons of plastic that is broken up to more than five trillion pieces. 

And it’s having a lethal effect on the world’s oceans.



Theoretical art project from Simone Rebaudengo and Paul Adams places an LED matrix onto a pollution mask to visualize expressions of the wearer - video embedded below:

For environmental and social reasons, mask are more and more common in many parts of our world.

As we believe in the value of some random emotional exchange in the streets, How would you read someone else’s subtle facial reaction to your words? How would you have a conversation when you barley can see each other?  How would the simple act of exchanging a smile happen between two people crossing paths? 

The Unmask is a possible answer to this. It’s a mask that allows to read your facial expressions and unmask your “emotion” hidden underneath.

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