Forest Woodward

Collapse the Distance
Location: Asheville, NC
Nationality: American
Biography: Collapse the Distance  is a multimedia storytelling project about climate change on the Pacific frontlines. Fusing photojournalism, audio storytelling, video, and written word,  Collapse the Distance  transports its audience to the... MORE
Public Story
Collapse the Distance
Copyright Forest Woodward 2023
Date of Work Apr 2016 - Ongoing
Updated Dec 2019
Location Tuvalu
Topics Children, Climate Change, Environment, Human Rights, Multimedia, Photography, Photojournalism

Collapse the Distance is a longitudinal storytelling project that seeks to amplify and give voice to youth on the climate change frontlines in the Pacific. My hope is that these images transport the audience to the low-lying Pacific island nation of Tuvalu - a nation faced with hungry tides, storm surges, and a freshwater crisis. Currently, Tuvalu sits on average just two meters above sea level and is predicted (according to a UN report) to be the first nation to lose sovereignty due to climate change.

Geographical distance and privilege insulate Western polluters from vibrant Pacific frontline communities fighting to maintain their way of life against climate change. The images that follow herein were created In the Spring of 2016 with the hope that they might help to collapse the distance between disparate communities by offering a humanistic look into the lives of the Pacific youth who in many ways inhabit a paradise, and yet whose futures are marked by a dichotomy; the quiet erosion of their land and culture in the face of the rising tides of a global climate crisis. 

These images were created during a three week period spent living in Funafuti, the capital of Tuvalu, while also traveling to the outer island communities which seldom see visitors and have not (to my knowledge) been photographed in the past decade.

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