Shipbreakers - Javier Arcenillas

Photo Essay

The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) Environmental Photographer of the Year 2013 is an international showcase for the very best in environmental photography and video.

1 Shipbreakers - Javier Arcenillas “Throughout the year, hundreds of large vessels, including many oil tankers, seek a place to be scrapped. Generally those countries that have this type of metal industry have a common denominator: poverty. Chittagong, Bangladesh, holds the world’s largest marine cemetery. Hundreds of ships annually go to these shores, where a huge number of workers work by hand scrapping these huge masses of metal without gloves, barefoot and without health insurance.”

2 GPAction - Steve Morgan “180km off the Greenland coast, 18 international activists from five inflatable speedboats, launched from the Greenpeace ship Esperanza, climb ladders onto the 53,000-tonne oil exploratory rig, Leiv Eiriksson. Greenpeace was attempting to stop the oil rig from drilling in Baffin Bay - one of the most pristine and fragile natural areas in the world.”

3 Rainy Day - Jan Kostal “We were on the small motor boat going back from Ramnagar Fort, Varanasi, when a sudden storm came from the city. We had to hold our plastic rooftop and anchor our boat far away from the hotel. After one long hour, the rain had stopped but the streets were flooded. Water flowed down back to the Ganges river, over the steps of every ghat, blocking cities by lakes and rivers.”

4 Survivors - GMB Akash “This century-old building in the outskirts of Dhaka, Bangladesh, is home to 80 families of sweepers - one of the most neglected and downtrodden communities, despite rendering an important service making it deserved to be noticed and respected.”

5 Discarded plastic - Steve Brockett “An aerial view of discarded plastic containers floating in a water deposit in Palomares, Almeria; their attraction to each other is reminiscent of molecular cell structures within the dark water.”

6 The Basketball Court in the Navotas Cemetery - Larry Louie “Makeshift houses and tents are pitched precariously on top of rows and rows of concrete tombs. This is what greeted us when we entered this little municipal graveyard in the northern Manila port district of Navotas: a community of 6,000 men, women and children living among thousands of corpses.”

7 Trains - Steve Morgan “Frankfurt Central Station is the busiest railway station in Germany. With about 350,000 passengers per day, the station is the second most frequented railway station in Germany and one of the most frequented in Europe.”

The works will be displayed at the Royal Geographical Society, London from 10 April to 3 May 2013.

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