The People of Clouds

Photographer

Matt Black

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Concept

The People of Clouds documents the unraveling of one the world's oldest farming cultures in the Mixteca region of southern Mexico, where land erosion and collapsing corn prices from free trade are bleeding communities dry.  An "environmental disaster zone" in the words of the World Bank, up to five meters of topsoil have been lost in some areas, and some communities have lost 80% of their population to migration to the United States.

Biography

Photographer Matt Black's work has documented rural poverty, migration, and the social and environmental impact of modern agriculture for over a decade.  A native of rural California, he lives in the state's Central Valley.

www.mattblack.com

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Featured Projects



Lágrimas do Rio Doce
Tears of the Sweet River


Photographer: Leonardo Merçon

The project Lágrimas do Rio Doce (Translation: Tears of the Sweet River) is an independent photographic-audiovisual production aiming to show the real consequences of this tragedy for biodiversity, local populations and traditional communities that depend on the river to survive. The river is rooted in the culture of fishermen, native americans (índios) and riverside populations. Through this project, these communities will be given a voice.


Water


Photographer: Mustafah Abdulaziz

Initiated in 2011, “Water” is a fifteen-year photographic project. Water and humanity are moving towards a crisis. We live in a time when 650 million people have no access to safe drinking water; when our rivers, basins and lakes are affected by decades of industry; when rising sea levels are placing Pacific Islanders in the cross-hairs of becoming the first climate refugees. The complexity of our relationship with water reflects our greater behavior towards our environment, which we’re beginning to understand has a defining impact on our planet.


Breaking the Cycle
a documentary film


Photographer: Dan Lamont and Sara Finkelstein

The facts are startling: the United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any other country on Earth. Those who fill the jails often come from fractured families with pernicious, multigenerational histories of poverty, substance abuse, mental illness, and domestic violence. Kids from such environments too often get in trouble. Incarcerated youth have a 75 percent chance of reoffending as adults and the cycle continues. It is a terrible tragedy and a colossal waste of human lives and social resources.