Socialist Worker

Colour, contrast and our world

Issue No. 1816

'EARTH FROM the Air' is an amazing outdoor exhibition of giant photographs that contrast the beauty of the world we live in to the terrible suffering all around us.

All the photographs are taken from the sky looking down. They reveal an amazing array of colour, and layer upon layer of intricate patterns. You may need to pinch yourself to be reminded that you are looking at something real, rather than a computer-generated graphic. Amid the beauty of pictures in the style of National Geographic are images of a different kind.

There is a picture of a queue for a water well. The scorched red earth of Africa is contrasted with the almost luminous blues and greens in the clothes of the women who are waiting.

A graveyard of hundreds of old B-52 bombers, laid out tip to toe, form a weird geometric pattern. But seeing them here - rusting away - you can't help but ponder the incredible waste that the arms industry has created. In between the pictures are placards with facts and figures that tell you of the vast and growing inequality that plagues humanity.

Despite these horrors, you will come away from this exhibition thinking about what beauty there still is in the world.

Earth from the Air - A Photographic Portrait of Our Planet by Yann Arthus-Bertrand is outside the Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London (nearest tube South Kensington) until 15 September and then touring Britain.

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Sat 7 Sep 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1816
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