HUMANS OF IMPACT HUB
When I was 17 I went on a scientific research expedition to Indonesia. I was young, naive and had the desire to help save the planet. The money for the journey was largely funded by childrens activities at local schools. I made a documentary film during the expedition with the aim to explain to a young audience that different animal species were being extinguished and the childrens personal involvement raised awareness to prevent it.
After that I made films in Belize, Guatemala and I also produced photographs. I was enjoying photography so much that I decided to study it instead of marine biology. Photography seemed like a perfect opportunity to explore the multifaceted elements of the world. Be it colonial history in Africa or political agendas in Eastern Europe, it’s a really exciting way of meeting people and leading different projects. That led me to study a photographic communication degree in the South of England.
After university I was awarded a scholarship to explore the relationship between French colonial history and the native African culture. Colonial Beauty was looking at the way the European society has directly influenced the African landscape. Comparing and contrasting the decadent design of colonial buildings to the humble local vernacular architecture and documenting the extreme contrasts between rich and poor. I attempted to observe neutrally, not saying this was wrong but instead exploring the political concept and using it as a method to produce art and stimulate discussions. However that didn’t stop me getting arrested by the local military, but that’s another story!
I believe the power of photography lies in its ability to influence people to reflect on their personal beliefs.
My next project was Silent Memory, a travelogue between Eastern Europe to Russia tracing the route of the Red Army between Moscow and Berlin. I explored symbolic architectural sites, photographing them from a different perspective and placing importance on the often overlooked. That is when I won the International Architecture Photography Award in 2007 with an image of the Jewish Holocaust Memorial Blocks. The exciting element for me is that you are seduced by the image because of its painterly abstract qualities but then you realize that it represents one of the darkest sides of humanities history.
Following on from that exhibition in Soho, London I was commissioned to work for one of the world’s largest Global Design Engineers Ove Arup, producing commercial photographical representations of architecture and design related projects. I started working for companies, like Snøhetta and Link Arkitektur in Norway amongst others. As the design and architecture commissions increased I was flying up to around 40 times a year, creating a new challenge.
It was important for me to keep the business environmentally sustainable. Therefore I started investing in a German company that plants trees in the Great Rift Valley in Kenia. Comparingthe amounts of CO2 that are produced during travels and offsetting them to produce a neutral footprintis a method to keep my business sustainable. I hope to travel out to the Rift Valley and see the work in action.
The last personal project I completed was Structural Divinity. It explores colonial history in relation to religious architecture across Southern Africa. An exhibition was produced with fine art prints for sale. The money from the portrait prints goes to an organization called Wateraid.org that works with disadvantaged communities providing them with water. The work is currently exhibited at Impact Hub Bergen and can be purchased there.
I came to the Hub around four years ago for the social environment. I love bouncing ideas off of people and receiving constructive feedback. I love the diversity of the fascinating creative people that populate the Hub. It helps me to improve my methods, develop my business and launch new creative endeavors.
Check out Daniel’s website and projects.