In Menindee, einem kleinen Ort mit 414 Einwohnern, 830 Kilometer westlich von Sydney, hat sich die Verzweiflung in Wut verwandelt. Die Einwohner machen die Regierung dafür verantwortlich, die Dürre durch die Entwässerung des Flusses im Jahr 2017 zur Bewässerung von Ackerland verschärft zu haben. Die Einheimischen vermeiden es seither, Leitungswasser zum Trinken und Waschen von Babys und Kindern zu verwenden, da dies Hautreizungen verursacht, und bevorzugen stattdessen Wasser in Flaschen oder Kartons. "Das war unsere Nahrungsquelle, der Fluss, unsere Wasserquelle. Das war unsere Lebensgrundlage", sagte Doyle. "Wenn man an einem Fluss lebt und Wasser in die Stadt gebracht werden muss, um zu trinken und um zu überleben, was bedeutet das? Es bedeutet, dass unser System nicht richtig funktioniert.“
Die Reuters Fotografin Tracey Nearmy hat die Menschen an den Ufern des Darling River besucht und ihre Situation dokumentiert.
First of all we’d be interested to know what you experienced during the photo shoot and what made you pick that particular theme ?
Reuters journalist Tom Westbrook and I had been looking at the water issue in the Murray Darling river system since the Australian federal election early in 2019. Reports of water shortages and major fish kills in the region were truely horrific and we were keen to cover the story. We didn't make it to the towns in time for the election but late last year on assignment with Reuters I made the 5 hour detour on dirt roads to the regional towns of Menindee and Wilcannia while driving across the country to my hometown of Adelaide.
I spent 2 weeks covering the water crisis over 2 visits, traveling the dusty roads around the dry lake beds and broken river spending time with local community who have been gravely impacted by the devastating toll that the lack of water in the region is making on their livelihoods and culture. It was heart breaking to see.
When and where were you born, where have you been educated and what are stages of your professional career ?
I was born in South Australia and studied in Queensland graduating from Griffith University with a Bachelor of Photography majoring in Photojournalism. At the turn of the millennium I started my career as a cadet photographer at Rupert Murdochs flagship community newspaper which he inherited from his father called Messenger Newspapers and have worked at major news outlets around Australia, most recently I was on staff and Australian Associated Press for 14 years before going freelance. I now work with Getty Images, Reuters and News Limited.
What is your standard camera equipment ? Is there any special or favourite gear ?
I shoot Nikon D5 with a pretty standard press photography kit and use the standard 16mm to 400mm range of lenses. I have some nice prime lenses from the 80's that I enjoy using for portraits but find myself usually going back to my standard work gear. Shooting on my iPhone is also something I enjoy as it allows me to quickly shoot and publish work with little fuss.
How do you process/edit your images ? What particular darkroom technique, software or apps do you utilize?
Each agency and news paper has their own ways to process images which can become confusing at times, but most often I work in Photo Mechanic and Photoshop on my laptop. I don't get a lot of free time to experiment or play with other processes but I'm hoping to change that this year.
Do you have photographic role models ?
A lot of photographers inspire me, Sydney Morning Herald photographers Janie Barrett @janiebarrettphotos and Kate Geraghty @kate.geraghty are a constant source of inspiration and a great colleagues along with Getty freelancers Lisa Maree Williams @lmwfoto and Jenny Evans @_jenny_evans_ . I also love the raw documentation of Nan Goldin and the artwork of Tracey Moffatt.
Is there a portfolio or photobook that inspired you ?
I was recently lucky enough to see Nancy Borowick speak in Melbourne Australia and brought her book the Family Imprint. It is such heartfelt, moving and beautiful work about losing both of her parents to cancer.
This work speaks to me because I think it's really important to document your everyday life along with stories from far flung places.
Where can one find more of your photographic work?