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The Horror of Garbage Island in Documentary 'Midway'

Carly Milne - TakePart
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September 20, 2013

MIDWAY a Message from the Gyre : a short film by Chris Jordan (Midway)

We’re all familiar with the saying, “out of sight, out of mind,” but Seattle photographer turned documentary codirector Chris Jordan couldn’t ignore Midway Island anymore. Situated in the middle of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the island is a habitat to countless albatross birds - and it’s quickly turning into a bird graveyard, courtesy of tons of plastic waste. Touched by the beautiful wildlife but horrified by the destruction of the environment, Jordan set out to shoot what is now a documentary film called Midway, which debuted earlier this month at the Toronto International Film Fest.

“It started as a photographing project,” says codirector Chris Jordan. “I’ve been taking photographs of giant piles of garbage with the intention to make all of us face our collective shadow and look at the collective destruction that we’re all participating in together. I learned about the Pacific Garbage Patch, which struck me as another of these invisible mass issues. There’s just no way to experience it, and yet scientists are telling us there’s millions of tons of plastic in the Pacific Ocean. And now, they’ve been studying the Atlantic, and the South China Sea, and the Indian Ocean. All of the world’s oceans are filled with plastic - yet it’s invisible.”

So Jordan decided to bring some attention to the issue. His first hurdle? You can’t even see most of the garbage. The patch is surfacing “like the tip of an iceberg in this incredibly macabre and viscerally powerful and symbolic way, inside the stomachs of dead baby albatrosses on this incredibly remote island,” he says.

Read the rest at TakePart

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