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With climate change putting the future of human civilization at great risk, this photo essay transports us back to one birthplace of human civilization: the Tigris-Euphrates river valley, which includes parts of modern day Iraq. For the past five years photographer Emily Garthwaite has focused her lens here. By living alongside her subjects for long periods of time, she gained rare access to their culture. Garthwaite’s photos show fishermen, families, and children going about their daily lives in a dying landscape, often in the glow of industrial smokestacks across the marsh. With exquisite composition, the photos capture not only landscapes in decay but also the emotions of the Marsh Arab people and their struggles. One grasps the story these photos tell without having to read their captions, a sure sign of superior photography.

Published alongside an in-depth article in Noēma, a California-based magazine that takes a multidisciplinary approach to global issues, these haunting photographs enable readers to see and feel, unforgettably, the humanitarian and environmental impacts of climate change.

The Last Of The Marsh Arabs

About the awards

Institute Artist is redefining how stories are produced and told. Representing auteur-driven storytellers, we bring together talent across commercials, photography, fine art, and film. Founded by Matt Shonfeld and Frank Evers. Institute Artists multi-platform production expertise, and established global relationships in entertainment, fine art, and journalism make for unmatched reach and cross-pollination of creative work. Institute Artist has been a leading advocate of the power of underrepresented talent and is fully committed to bringing these authentic voices to our clients by helping them tell compelling and entertaining stories that better connect with their audiences.