Timed to coincide with COP26, Shadow Growth is a series of online, interactive charts that compile data to show the ecological shadow or ‘counter-visualisation’ of wealth accumulation in different parts of the world. A central objective of the work is to produce useful alternative “photographs” of GDP to be used in daily online interactions.
Visitors are invited to interact with these new speculative data models, and export visualisations ready for circulation and discussion on social media, in presentations, and any other public forum. These images – informed by scientific research and data on the climate crisis – can provide powerful transdisciplinary support to challenge economic presuppositions, and to advocate for climate activism.
By including missing data such as national carbon emissions, the work aims to place the dominant narrative of “growth” into an ecosystemic context. The conventional “flat” representations of economic growth are projected into three dimensions. In doing so, the “social cost of carbon” of a given country, normally hidden within its official Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is revealed.
An accompanying article written by Disnovation.org focuses on the urgency and strategic value of producing and circulating alternative models (and modes of description) to reframe the links between “growth” and ecosystemic crisis.
Suggested Citation:Disnovation (2021) 'Shadow Growth', The Photographers’ Gallery: Unthinking Photography. Available at: https://unthinking.photography/commissions/shadow-growth