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Photographer: Lisa Elmaleh
Publisher: Zatara Press
Publication date: 2016
Print length: 64 pages
Language: English
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"Since 2008, I have been working on a series of photographs in the Everglades. As a native of South Florida, the Everglades is an ecosystem that has shaped my own history. The Everglades is a series of ecosystems that thrive on freshwater flowing south from Lake Okeechobee. Agriculture, urban development, and a complex series of canals have redirected and polluted the freshwater flowing into the Everglades. "

In the 1800s, the Everglades were viewed as a landscape to develop and conquer, to alter permanently. To date, more than half of the Everglades have been repurposed for urban and agricultural use. Freshwater flowing into the park is engineered, reads the brochure given to all visitors of Everglades National Park. With the help of pumps, floodgates, and retention ponds along the park's boundary, the Everglades is presently on life support, alive but diminished.

In Everglades, Lisa Elmaleh returned to her native South Florida. In a project that lasted from 2008 until 2016, Elmaleh examined her native landscape, photographing the flora and fauna of the Everglades, the only ecological system of its kind. Inspired by early landscape photographers of the American West, Elmaleh spent her time in the Everglades using a large format 8×10 camera and the wet collodion glass negative process, a nineteenth century process requiring the images be exposed and developed on site in a small portable cardboard darkroom. In this way, Elmaleh hopes to preserve an essence of the Everglades, a land we are rapidly losing without knowing the magnitude of our loss.

The Everglades project was the winner of the Aaron Siskind Foundation award, the Puffin Foundation Grant, and the Everglades National Park Artist Residency (AIRIE).
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