The TimeShrine is composed of the typical trash you would find on Mount Everest. The pollution masks are the ones Anne also used in the Maldives, resembling Tibetan prayer flags. 7,000 people per year trek Mount Everest leaving behind an estimated 50 tons of non-degradable trash and around 20 tons of human waste and earning Everest the nickname World’s Highest Garbage Dump. Trash, the newest form of human archeology, is everywhere.
Music credit: Kai Engle - Take a Look Around you
All the plastic used in this TimeShrine was found on this remote site. This is where Anne realized that plastic is now a permanent element of the seas. After the Industrial and Information revolution we need a Sustainability revolution.
This TimeShrine documents five days’ worth of plastic bottles, brought ashore by the currents. Nine million tons of plastic end up in the ocean every year, the equivalent of dumping one garbage truck of plastic into the water every minute. By 2050, the Oceans will contain by weight more plastic than fish.
This TimeShrine was created on a coral reef reclaimed from the Ocean to be filled with garbage. Besides the dead coral Anne used pollution masks painted as Tibetan prayer flags. Originally a 5 mile long, 200 yards wide lagoon Thilafushi has today a landmass of 4.6 million ft entirely reclaimed with trash burning 24/7. Bluepeace, a Maldivian ecological movement, describes the island as a "toxic bomb”.
Pink Flamingos landed on the edge of Lake Elmenteita just before this photograph was taken. Within seconds their feeding activities disturbed the surface of the water. Recently increased fishing activity has dried up the catchment area of this lake, the water level has receded and the numbers of flamingos has dramatically decreased.
Anne entered this ‘no man’s land’ undercover with a group of young local activists. Illegal stacks burn 24/7 and release in the atmosphere toxic substances including dioxin. Two million people live and feed on this land. The Terra dei Fuochi (“Land of the Fires”) near Naples has become the largest landfill of toxic waste in Europe.
The pollution level that day was 2.5 times the health hazard level and so high that Anne had to work wearing a mask. In the foreground of the image, peonies, China’s unofficial national flower, are mixed with breathing masks. There is no human world without breath.
Anne discovered this pod of water and vegetation on a Shangai roof top. The pollution level was 168 AQI that day. She created the TimeShrine with lotus flowers, Asian symbols of equilibrium and resilience, and empowered it with a stone dragon.
6.5 million people die every year from air pollution.