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Madagascar: uncovering the forgotten land

Prix Pictet 2009 Commission exhibition: Ed Kashi’s photographs reveal the ecological plight of Madagascar

For the 2009 Prix Pictet Commission shortlisted artist Ed Kashi was invited to visit Madagascar to produce a portfolio of images related to the theme of the award – Earth. Kashi’s pictures chronicle the compromised beauty of this threatened island, described as one of the greatest present-day ecological disasters yet recorded. As Ed Kashi says ‘This Commission is in direct response to the global cry to stop and take responsibility, seen through the dignified and vibrant people of south east Madagascar, in a cross examination of the intricate ties that bind them to the earth.’

A burial stone setting commemoration, with men of the family of an older woman who recently died, parading a giant piece of granite from their village to their ancestal burial grounds, where they erect the stone in the earth. This is called tsangambato, 2010

Simple living…..

Rock breakers eke out a living creating gravel and stones for buildings and roads in Bezavo, 2010

Tavy, or burning of the forest to clear for planting, is illegal but local farmers continue to do this despite the massive reductions of their forests. This tavy is in Manindry Havia. In the distance is one of the few remaining native forests of the region. As the people cut and burn more of their forests, they must go further and further out from their villages to collect wood for their buildings and fires., 2010

Local people plant rice in flooded fields. Rice is sacred and an essential part of one’s daily nutrition. For the Malagasy rice represents life., 2010