Addressing climate change and ocean health through visual media


Royal Museums of Greenwich, the National Maritime Museum Amsterdam (Het Scheepvaartmuseum), and The Mystic Seaport Museum has partnered with an interagency webinar series that will address a variety of themes for 2022. On June 8, World Oceans Day, the trio will discuss sea level rise, climate change and the health of the oceans through the lens of the artist. .

Amsterdam-based photojournalist Kadir van LohuizenAmerican contemporary artist Alexis Rockmanand Laura Boon, Senior Curator: Contemporary Maritime at the Royal Museums Greenwich will join Emeritus Professor of Marine Science at Williams College, Dr. James T. Carltonto explore the role of art and visual media in raising awareness of these issues.

The speakers:

Dr. James T. Carlton is Professor Emeritus of Marine Science at Williams College (Williamstown, Massachusetts, USA) and Director (1989-2015) Emeritus of Williams College – Mystic Seaport Ocean & Coastal Studies Program (Mystic, Connecticut). His research focuses on the environmental history of coastal marine ecosystems, including invasions of non-native species and modern extinctions. He is the only scientist to receive the United States Federal Government’s Interagency Recognition Award for his national and international work to reduce the impacts of alien species invasions in the sea. In 2013, he was awarded the Medal of California Academy of Sciences Fellows, being one of only 15 marine scientists in the world so recognized in the past 55 years. He has authored or co-authored over 275 peer-reviewed publications and co-edited/authored 6 books. Jim earned his undergraduate degree in paleontology from the University of California, Berkeley, his Ph.D. in ecology from the University of California-Davis, and did postdoctoral work at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Laura Boon is Senior Curator of Lloyd’s Register Foundation: Contemporary Maritime at the National Maritime Museum, Royal Museums Greenwich. Its mission is to promote public awareness and understanding of the important role the sea plays in all of our lives. Laura is committed to increasing knowledge of the ocean and has undertaken a number of projects exploring how historical collections can be relevant to tackling the climate crisis. His most recent exhibition “Canaletto’s Venice Revisited” used 18th-century artwork as a springboard to explore the challenges Venice (and all of us) face today. Laura also works with a number of protest groups, including Extinction Rebellion (UK) and No Grandi Navi (Venice), including collecting materials for the collection of the National Maritime Museum.

Alexis Rockman was born in 1962 and grew up in New York, and has exhibited extensively around the world since 1985. He has been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions internationally, including a major retrospective held at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. He has held several teaching positions at prestigious institutions, such as Columbia and Harvard universities, and his work is represented in public and private collections around the world, including the Brooklyn Museum, New York; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven. Rockman has been the subject of numerous exhibition catalogs and monographic publications, including “Alexis Rockman”, published by Monacelli Press in 2003. His monograph, “Alexis Rockman: Works on Paper” was published by Damiani in 2021. Rockman lives and works in Warren, CT.

Kadir van Lohuizen (Netherlands, 1963) began working as a professional freelance photojournalist in 1988 and has covered conflicts in Africa and elsewhere, but is probably best known for his long-term projects on the world’s seven rivers, rising sea levels, industrial diamond and migration in the Americas. After Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans, he made several trips to the United States to document the aftermath of the storm. With the Where Shall We Go project, Kadir looked at the global consequences of sea level rise caused by climate change. The project is designed to highlight both the immense complexities associated with island and inter-island/country movements, and the human rights implications involved in such displacement. Kadir’s environmental projects continue with “Wasteland”, where he studies in six megacities (Jakarta, Tokyo, Lagos, Amsterdam, São Paulo and New York) how they manage or mismanage their waste. In 2018, Kadir van Lohuizen and Yuri Kozyrev were the winners of the 9th Carmignac Prize for Photojournalism, where they embarked on a year-long expedition across the Arctic, documenting the consequences of the climate crisis. Kadir has received numerous photojournalism awards and accolades, and is a frequent lecturer and photography instructor.


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