The Far Other
Medium: video installation
Once, sea turtles had only predators to worry about, yet their reality today is a far harsher one. When their eggs are not poached or perish inside increasingly warming sands, they hatch and traverse our plastic-ridden shores on their way to the sea. There they must avoid our oil spills, our plastic resembling their prey and getting stuck in them, our fishing nets trapping them until they drown and our fishing boats running over them. Their biology also mandates that warmer temperatures birth significantly more female turtles, threatening their extinction as those who survive struggle to find mates to reproduce with.
Yet this is all far away from here and happening to a species most of us know little about. We could combat climate change on an individual action level, we could reduce plastic consumption and waste significantly as a matter of choice. We could do a great deal to help them, but it is hard to emphasize with a few reptiles we never interacted with and that are so different from us.
‘The Far Other’ brings the reality of sea turtle hatchlings closer to our own. It is, after all, our plastic that needs to be removed from the shores to give them safe passage. It is our actions that make the sands too warm for them to maintain a healthy population capable of survival. It is our actions that can also help them survive and live. Those different from us and those far from us are neither truly far nor truly other, and they deserve and need our empathy and action.
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