“I envision our project not as being a bunch of us tramping around the island with cameras; instead I hope it will be an emotional and spiritual journey by a deeply connected group of artists, to honor the issues that Midway represents.
Maybe it is not too ambitious to hope—if we can fully rise to the occasion—that we might be able to co-create a multi-media work of art that tenderly witnesses this middle point that humanity finds itself at right now.
And in the eye of the storm —the apex of the Gyre—perhaps our collaborative efforts can create a container for healing that might have some small effect on the collective choice that is to come.” - Photographer and artist Chris Jordan
Sometimes the most horrifying situations can have valuable intrinsic beauty that the world deserves to see. Midway Atoll is situated in the furthest point in the North Pacific roughly halfway between Hawaii and Japan.
This small collection of three very isolated islands is home to some of the largest populations of seabirds in the world, one seabird in particular called the Albatross. Every year the Albatross use Midway Atoll as their main nesting place for thousands of tiny baby Albatross chicks but this overwhelming action of life and birth is met harshly by the massive death and sadness.
While Midway Atoll is absolute paradise it is also nestled right on the edge of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and this close proximity produces horrors the seabird population. Static Photography photographer Kris Krüg has joined a team of artists that are filming a documentary about this devastating struggle.
The entire journey is outlined on their Midway Journey site. From the site itself here is the mission statement of this whole multi-media process:
"We are at a mid-way place. On a remote and isolated island in the middle of the Pacific, twelve-hundred miles northwest of Hawaii.This is a moment in time, a chance to witness and understand our role in an astonishing environmental tragedy.
This is a place that provides context. Here, reflected in the beauty of the Albatross, is an unfolding horror. Yet it is a horror in which we see our own lives, a snapshot of our impact on the planet that challenges us to consider how to move forward.
Join us, on a breathtaking and emotional journey, into the heart of the Pacific, and into the heart of ourselves.
Production of the feature film “Midway” continues through 2011."
International environmental visual artist Chris Jordan is leading this team on their third trip to Midway Atoll. He filmed a small check-in just four days into the trip while documenting the death of some of the baby albatross that had died due to the effects of the recent tsunami in that region.
One of the team members is youth activist Emily Chartrand. She is documenting her entire experience through her blog Emily's Journey to Midway . Here is a recent excerpt from her latest blog post titled Plastic Beaches?
"To see that the beach is already so filled with plastic was really hard and so sad. We're in way over our heads with this problem of plastic pollution and if we don't change our habits of abusing single use/disposable plastics then our beaches will soon be composed of only plastic. I thought of this quote by John Wayne while I was sitting there "Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway."
I am honestly so scared and intimidated by what I've been seeing here on Midway Atoll but it has inspired me more then ever to live plastic free and to tell people what they can do to use less plastic and share the horrors of what is happening here."
The reasoning behind this whole documentation process is to build awareness around the large-scale international issue of plastic pollution that is affecting the world today. There are many ways that you can become involved in this process while following along with the team's journey.
Here are some of Kris' recent photos from his last week on Midway Atoll:
So many baby albatross
Why hello there!
Cameraman Joe Schweers hard at work
Make sure to check back for more updates from the Journey to Midway Atoll. :)