Dr Thomas Chase1
1Monash University, Suzhou, China
This presentation discusses the environmentally-themed photographic works of several Chinese photographers and argues that they constitute a form of socially engaged art. This paper will begin by discussing what socially engaged environmental photography means in a Chinese context before examining the ways in which the Chinese photographers analysed in this research seek to render visible China’s environmental problems while critiquing the values and practices which have contributed to the degradation of the natural environment. Utilising fieldwork interviews and analysis of the photography produced by these artists, this presentation will discuss how socially engaged environmental photography represents a grassroots effort to promote public awareness and concern for the environment as part of an effort to construct an alternative, more environmentally-friendly future for China.
Dr Thomas Chase is the Coordinator of the Double Masters in Interpreting and Translation Studies at the Monash University – Southeast University Joint Graduate School in Suzhou, China. His doctoral dissertation and published research focuses on issues related to digital media, public communication, history and national identity in Mainland China and South Korea.