UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources


Resources:Framed Photography Competition Results

14 May 2015

winner Alex Ma

Congratulations to Alex Ma, a student at UCL Geography for his winning image of working tanneries in Marrakesh (above). Alex says of the image:

"This photo depicts a tannery outside Marrakech, Morocco. Here, mounds of natural chemicals and dyes are used to create leather goods in a manufacturing process that remains unchanged for centuries. Nonetheless, offshore production, unregulated tourism and environmental degradation threaten these practices."

The judges commented:

"The photo and narrative were very powerful: a changing world where globalisation is meeting/challenging local tradition and local economies. As I looked at the photo, I wondered whether the people looking at the local tannery might be tourists, local business people, people with a vested interest in development and change. I wondered how they might the view the industry in front of them? A great photo can open up a myriad of possibilities and stories..."

"There is a lot going on in this image, yet you are most drawn to the figures overlooking the tannery. The more you take in the image the more out of place these figures are, which really highlights the conflict between unregulated tourism and the traditional practices depicted."

"At first glance you might overlook this picture, but the longer you look the more it strikes you and the more there is to see. Traditional versus contemporary and the changing nature of using resources for long established manufacturing processes versus using them to attract tourism raise some interesting questions. Is the tanning practice sustainable because of its tradition or because it raises tourism revenue?"

Alex's winning image along with staff and student runner ups and a selection of highly commended entries will be on display in the UCL North Cloisters from May 18.