Donald Weber - Cape Farewell - The cultural response to climate change

Donald Weber


Donald Weber is a photographer fascinated by the subject of power (be it economic, political, psychological) and how it deploys an all-encompassing theatre for its subjects. His current work investigates global climate change as a social process, a personal and public discourse with nature. His numerous awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship and two World Press Photo prizes. He is a member of the acclaimed VII Photo agency.

Donald Weber became involved with Cape Farewell as an invited participant of the Carbon 14 Workshop in November 2011. Off the mark Don began working with friend and long-time collaborator Larry Frolick on a compelling and timely project entitled Tributary: The Doh-Cho After Mackenzie which looks at twenty-first century life along the Mackenzie River, the increasing industrialization of the North, and its effects on both local culture and the environment.

Ten of Don's large format portraits, from his award-winning 2011 Canadian Art Commission series Quniqjuk, Qunbuq, Quabaa, were shown in the Carbon 14: Climate is Culture exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum. These portraits - taken at Ataguttaaluk High School, in Igloolik, Nunavut - are all shot in the ambient light of the subjects' various mobile devices (iPads, phones, games), and present a generation of modern day Inuit on the edge of a radically changing world.

Prior to photography, Don originally trained as an architect and worked with urban theorist Rem Koolhaas' Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He has since devoted himself to the study of how Power deploys an all-encompassing theatre for its subjects. What he records is Power's secret collaboration with both masters and victims.

Don is the author of two books. His first, Bastard Eden, Our Chernobyl, won the Photolucida Book Prize and asked a simple question: what is daily life actually like in a post-atomic world? His latest book, Interrogations, which is about post-Soviet authority in Ukraine and Russia, was considered by many critics to be one of the year's best photo books.

He is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lange-Taylor Prize, the Duke and Duchess of York Prize, two World Press Photo Awards, and PDN's 30 and he was named an Emerging Photo Pioneer by American Photo. He is a member of the acclaimed VII Photo Agency.