'Inherit the Dust' Conveys a Powerful Message Through Striking Photos

'Inherit the Dust' Conveys a Powerful Message Through Striking Photos

It's no secret the impact humans have had on Earth and its other inhabitants. We often see the changed landscapes brought forth by human life and modern society as signs of triumph and accomplishment, but with these come the lost homes of those animals that once inhabited the land upon which society now sits. Nick Brandt has captured these changes in a unique and arresting fashion.

Regardless of your feelings on environmentalism and preservation, there is no arguing that humans have fundamentally altered the planet on which we live. While often beneficial to the growth of society, the effect on the animals that once inhabited areas of heavy development and industrialization is less positive. Nick Brandt has captured this effect in his series, "Inherit the Dust," which places life-size panels of animals in their former habitats. The effect is striking; the obvious placement of a print of an animal as opposed to a smooth blending in say, Photoshop, symbolically underscores the fact that these places are now foreign to those who once inhabited them naturally. Nick elaborates on this:

The people within the photographs are oblivious to the presence of the panels and the animals featured in them, who are now no more than ghosts in the landscape. Some of the animals in the panels appear to be looking out at these destroyed landscapes with sadness, as if lamenting the loss of the world they once inhabited. By the end, we see that it is not just the animals who are the victims in this out of control world, but also the humans. 
Be sure to check out Nick's website and the full book of this series, available on Amazon.
All images © Nick Brandt, Courtesy of Edwynn Houk Gallery New York, used with permission.
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Sean Shimmel's picture

Soulfully potent.

Like a melancholic blend of Sebastiao Salgado and James Nachtway.

Phil Newton's picture

Wow that's pretty moving stuff. I'll probably pick up a copy I think.

Tom Lew's picture

True. Enormous stress on the ecosystem

Patrick Hall's picture

I recently listened to a podcast on the Tim Ferris show, forget the name of the person being interviewed, but he was asked something like "what are the 5 things that threaten humanity the most right now." One of his answers was under population. He kind of glazed over his answer pretty quickly but the basic idea was that the human population is no where near the carrying capacity and although we have seen a ton of growth in population size the last 100 years the overall human population might soon be decreasing, slowing its rate, and possibly moving in the opposite direction. I can't remember the exact reason why this would be a bad thing for the ecosystem but he put this problem right up there with water shortages and global warming.