Through photography, EJPP will attempt to help build a picture of what environmental injustice looks like in the UK
The Environmental Justice Photo Project (EJPP) UK is a project of ‘So We Stand’, an emerging grassroots movement of people who consciously work for empowering social change, in order to develop multi-racial politics and self-defence strategies for environmental and climate justice. EJPP is inspired by the glaring gap in our socio-political narrative on the impact of environmental harm on local communities. Treading the ground between anti-poverty and environmental movements, ‘environmental justice’ is a concept and social movement that seeks to address the reality that environmental burdens (eg: intrusive mining and extraction, dumping of toxic materials, highly-polluting industry etc.) are inequitably distributed and often concentrated in areas of socio-economically marginalised people.
Through the medium of photography, EJPP will attempt to help build a picture of what environmental injustice looks like in the UK. Taking a firm stance against the perpetuation of notions of victimisation, EJPP seeks to illuminate the resistance to injustice that already exists within local communities. Acknowledging that environmental justice issues are highly interrelated and complex, the photography will attempt to reflect the complexity inherent in the situation. This project is inextricably linked to climate change as it examines its causes and perpetuation on a local level and will start the building blocks for a serious UK dialogue on the relationship between climate change, social justice and racial equality.
‘So We Stand’ is an emerging grassroots movement of people who consciously work to empower social change and develop multi-racial politics and self-defence strategies for environmental and climate justice. DIY Popular Education Collective is our trading name and the training ground for popular educators:
- We are people of all backgrounds creating tools to defend ourselves and our communities against environmental and climate injustice
- We use community ‘popular’ education leading to effective direct action
- We aim to build a movement to reclaim space, share support, ideas, and strategies with one another across our diverse communities to take control of our lives
- We are a ‘think-and-act tank’, linking the issues of global capitalism, environmental degradation and climate change with their local impacts
- For us, this means working locally on issues such as anti-war, police brutality, prison abolition, affordable housing, healthcare and public transportation, environmental justice, racist immigration policies, and many more. We stand in support with other movements engaged in this work.
- We are committed to enabling self-defence against oppression in all areas of our movement. This means addressing whose voices are heard, which priorities are chosen, what actions are taken, who does the work, and who gets the credit.
The six month duration of EJPP to 1st September 2010 has generated an incredible wealth of information which has both empowered the communities involved to reflect and take action for environmental justice (EJ). Delicate questions have arisen through EJPP, opening communication channels, raising consciousness and providing avenues for action. For communities affected by environmental justice and people who want to stand in solidarity with them important political and philosophical questions to ask are:
‘Is there environmental Injustice if the people that it (supposedly) affects don’t recognise it themselves?
Why is there is a lack of research about these things in the UK, such as the health impacts?
What is the role of workers and trade unions in achieving EJ?
And what will it take for an EJ movement to take off?
EEJP, partners and the communities involved will soon launch the stories generated so far, to serve as a basis for other communities to share their stories, highlight the importance of weaving stories on the social implications of environmental destruction and to highlight the possibilities for action that can be taken.