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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Hard Rain exhibition highlights need for global action on environment

A novel collection of photographs underlines the absolute necessity to deal with worldwide problems from deforestation to pollution in a joined up, concerted effort...

Written by Adam Bollard

Gasmask wedding: Using nuptials to protest against pollution in Russia

Given the fact I think Bob Dylan‘s something of a genius, information pills it would probably come as no surprise to you that I was eager as a leaf blowin’ in the wind is tossed this way and that to check out the Hard Rain exhibition, discount now to be seen free of charge – and, fittingly, out in the elements – in London.

Featuring challenging photographs that come together to document environmental and social issues from around the world, this exhibition is currently displayed along Imperial College Road, off Exhibition Road, as a 60-metre long banner of photographs, together with commentaries.

Deforestation in Brazil: the timber being felled in this image had to be sold by parents to pay for their children’s TB medication

Its images reflect global challenges of today, from environmental change to human rights, with each one referring to – and, in turn, being referred to by – a line from the lyrics of Dylan’s iconic song ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’. Why this song? Well, written as it was by Dylan in reaction to the Cuban crisis of the early ’60s and, thus, influenced by a potentially cataclysmic event itself, it inspired the project.

According to Mark Edwards, renowned photographer and Hard Rain’s organiser, the aim behind the project is to draw attention to global concerns and help enthuse people to put huge pressure on governments around the world to address the environmental and global problems we face. It’s a lofty ambition, certainly, and maybe sounds rather too idealistic; however, it’s hard not to be moved and feel somewhat invigorated after taking a look – however long – at the exhibition. The photographs portray a range of problems from deforestation to the aftermath of conflict, pollution and abject poverty. And there’s certainly a sense of ‘cause and effect’ to all of them displayed together – the reality of the problems we face as a world leap out of these often very striking and memorable images and, as a whole experience, they do underline the need to tackle all of these problems together, not individually one at a time.

Fancy a snack: the West stuffs its face while millions elsewhere suffer from food shortages

Impressively, before reaching Imperial College Road, Hard Rain travelled all around the world, ensuring it’s apparently so far been visited by more than15 million people. It runs until Friday – 12 March – at Imperial College’s South Kensington Campus; I urge you to brave the elements and take a look before it’s gone, even if you have to do so in a break between it pouring with heavy, nay, hard rain.

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