THE BIRDS OF POLLUTION

PhotographerCarmen Sayago
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

Modern world is founded in technological and industrial developments. We live surrounded by Wi-Fi, chemical products to clean, odorize... For most people these are common-everyday items meant to make life easier, but a portion of the world population has developed and adverse reaction to these non-natural materials that makes them vulnerable and even worse: ill. Multiple chemical sensibility is a disease that affects who show extreme sensibility to certain substances, in high or low levels of concentration present in the air, water and food such as: fragrances, cleaning products, and many other industrial chemical-based products. Imagine a life in which everything surrounding you is hostile… They need to adapt their home and even move far away from civilization to be able to live a “normal” life. Like the birds used in the mines, they are warning us that maybe, what we have considering as progress might be harmful to the natural essence.

Story

Modern world is founded mainly in technological and industrial developments. We live surrounded by antennas, Wi-Fi signals and chemical products to clean, odorize and cook. For most people these are common-everyday items meant to make life easier, but a growing portion of the world population has developed and adverse reaction to these non-natural materials that makes them vulnerable and even worse: ill. Multiple chemical sensibility (MCS) is a disease that affects mostly women who show extreme sensibility to certain substances, in high or low levels of concentration present in the air, water and food such as: fragrances, detergents, cosmetics, deodorants, cleaning products, insecticides, food additives, and many other industrial chemical-based products. So, imagine a life in which everything surrounding you is hostile… MCS patients need to adapt their home, eat organic, follow a strict protocol to wash clothes and even move far away from civilization to be able to live a “normal” healthy life. Once the disease has started, usually triggered by a concentration of chemicals considered harmless for any other person, it can never go back. Symptoms are directly related to the central nervous system, including: headache, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, congestion, itching, sneezing, sore throat, chest pain, changes in heart rhythm, breathing problems, muscle pain or stiffness, skin rash, diarrhea, bloating, gas, confusion, trouble concentrating, memory problems and mood changes. The World Health Organization (WHO) has not recognized it either, although independent statistics show that near 300 thousand people are living nowadays with the disease only in Spain. WHO claims to have done several investigations that prove MCS is not a disease. But this leads to a question: whom are they researching for? The cases all around the world show conditions, reactions and a reality that cannot be denied. Like the birds used in the mines to alarm any danger, MCS patients or “bubble people”, as they are commonly known, are letting us know that maybe, what we have been considering as progress might be harmful to the natural essence and constitution of human beings. Our direct connection with the world is determined by our five senses: what we eat, what we smell, what we touch, what we hear, what we see. Our environment has grown to be filled with new factors with an undeniable effect in our bodies, whether we can perceive it or not. So now, you can choose to keep on living like you are, pretending to be immune to everything, or you can start realizing that nature and biology have a reason and a natural order which altered will inevitably create new consequences. Just look back over the years and the answer will appear in front of your eyes. Or follow the flight of the birds migrating because their destination might be our salvation.

About Photographer

Carmen Sayago, Cádiz (Spain) 1983. Specializing in documentary photography. She is one of the emerging photographers in Spain. She is mainly dedicated to social issues, although the curiosity of this photographer makes it also focus other issues very little known by society, creating in each reportage a language of its own. Her images have been published in major national and international media. AWARDS AND EXHIBITIONS Selected I Masterclass Memo Colective formed by photojournalists Manu Brabo, Fabio Bucciarelli, Jose Colon, Diego Ibarra and Guillem Valle, who have followed their work “The birds of pollution" for 6 months, a project in which he continues to work. Honorable Mention Photo Essay and Feature Story of International Photography Awards (IPA) (2016) Professional Category Discoveries Photoespaña 2016 Accesit Fotonikon 2015 Honorable Mention Photo Essay and Feature Story of International Photography Awards (IPA) (2015). Professional Category Exhibition at the African Film Festival in Cordoba (2012). I Exhibition of Emerging Art MAE’12 Córdoba (2012). Finalist in Contest XII Fernando Quinones (2011). Finalist in the “Your photo” National Geographic (2011). Finalist in the “A click, a smile” ONG Bombay Smiles (2011).