Mother of Water
The Mekong, the world's most biodiverse river after the Amazon, meanders over 4,500 kilometres across Southeast Asia. From the Tibetan plateau, it runs through the Chinese province of Yunnan, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. For centuries, it has been the social and cultural lifeline of the region. The more than 1,200 known species of fish in the Mekong have saved millions of people from starvation during droughts, floods, and the murderous Cambodian Pol Pot regime.
This makes the river, with its entangled tributaries and arms, a highly complex entity, not only ecologically but also politically. It supports floating houses and markets, is a transport route, a fish reserve, the backbone of hygiene and tourism, and offers numerous opportunities to generate electricity. China has built eleven dams on the Mekong in recent years. Downstream, in Laos and Cambodia, numerous dams and barrages are also being built. The poorer countries want to capitalise on hydropower and sell the green electricity generated to China, Thailand, and Vietnam. In South Vietnam, the Mekong River fans out into a wide delta before flowing into the South China Sea. About 20 million people live in the Mekong Delta, three-quarters of whom work in agriculture. Countless ditches, dams, irrigation canals, and sluices make the delta one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world. But the Mekong Delta is currently struggling with a combination of problems that are damaging rice quality. In recent years, the region has experienced severe droughts. The dams on the Mekong tributaries are the main cause of this, along with El Niño. For a country like Vietnam, traumatised by decades of war and famine, food security without intensive rice cultivation is unimaginable. In addition, the dams cut off the path of fish, threatening their conservation and community fisheries. Some fish migrate hundreds of kilometres to spawn. The dams could seal their fate. The area is also home to many other endangered species, such as monkeys, tigers, and Asian elephants.
Hahn & Hartung
Miguel Hahn and Jan-Christoph Hartung are a photographer duo based in Berlin. They studied Photography at the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt. In 2009 they started working as a team. Exhibitions 2020 Kunstpreis Lotto Brandenburg / Kunstraum Potsdam 2019 Human Impact / Künstlerhaus Dortmund 2019 CORTONA ON THE MOVE / Cortona 2019 „Die Anderen sind Wir“/ BLMK COTTBUS Museum for Modern Art 2018 Athens Photo Festival / Athens 2016 Street Projections / European Month of Photography / Berlin 2015 LEAD Awards / Deichtorhallen / Hamburg 2014 My Secret Life / C/O Berlin / Berlin 2013 Circulations, Festival de la jeune photographie européenne / Paris 2012 Vattenfall Fotopreis, C/O Berlin, Berlin 2011 Photo Diploma Award / Poznan 2009 Photomeetings / Luxembourg Awards and Scholarships 2020 VG Bildkunst, Scholarship 2020 Kunstpreis Lotto Brandenburg / Förderpreis 2019 Nannen-Preis / 2x Shortlisted 2017 Arles Voies Off Awards, Shortlisted 2016 VG-Bildkunst, Scholarship 2015 LEAD Award, Visual Leader, Gold for Photoreportage of the year 2013 Vattenfall Fotopreis, C/O Berlin, honorable mention 2013 Descubrimientos Photo España, Shortlisted 2011 International Photography Awards, honorable mention 2010 Martin Lagois Förderpreis für Fotografie Publications CNN GEO STERN ZEITmagazin Sueddeutsche Zeitung Magazin VICE Magazine M - Le Monde DUMMY NEON SPIEGEL
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