2005 — professional winner
Marcus Bleasdale is one of the world's leading documentary photographers. He increasingly uses his work to influence decision makers and policy makers around the world. His work on human rights and conflict have been shown at the US Senate, the US House of Representatives, the United Nations and the Houses of Parliament in the UK.
Marcus' work also appears in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Sunday Times Magazine, the Telegraph Magazine, Stern, Le Monde, Time Magazine, Newsweek and National Geographic.
Marcus lives in Oslo with his wife Karin Beate and is a member of VII photo.
“The vilest scramble for loot that ever disfigured the history of human conscience” -Joseph Conrad
Effects of oil exploration in a world where it is increasingly the catalyst of conflict, exploitation and global pollution. Tribes in Africa are being flushed out of their natural environments and communities in Siberia are being uprooted and moved en masse.
Global Oil exploration is the twentieth century fuel of the economic boom, all developed countries and many developing countries have been involved with since the first world war. But, increasingly we are looking at the costs of this expansionism and exploitation of the world’s natural resources.
Decreasing deposits in the developed world are causing further exploration into less developed countries, which have been too remote or too dangerous to access. This pushing of boundaries is leading to some of the worlds oldest communities being decimated and pushed toward virtual extinction.
There is a huge new boom in oil exploration throughout central Africa. Following the end of the cold war rivalries in the region and the development of new technologies in the last decade, oil companies are falling over themselves to offer lucrative contracts to governments in Cameroon, Chad, the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Angola.
The World Bank plans to fund an oil pipeline through Central African rainforests that will bring profits to Shell, Exxon, and Gulf while causing environmental havoc and threatening local populations - all with US taxpayers backing the deal. The oil companies are about to build a 600-mile pipeline from the Doba oil fields in Chad to coastal Cameroon, slashing through fragile rainforest that is home to the Baka and Bakola peoples, communities of traditional hunter-gatherers.
Oil industry experts say the pipeline could deliver between 150,000 and 250,000 barrels per day from the Kom, Miandoum, Bolobo and Sdigui fields. “Once construction begins, we’ll see an uncontrollable influx of people in search of work even though it will be poorly paid - the result will be deforestation, wild-life poaching and the loss of community land,” says Environmental Defense Fund economist Konna Horta.