Visual Arts Exhibition

Empty Chalice: A Chronicle of Lake Urmia’s Struggle

«نمایشگاه عکس «جام تهی


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Empty Chalice: A Chronicle of Lake Urmia's Struggle

It is still unimaginable that even lakes can die. But can we imagine this untimely death for Lake Urmia?

Although the hope of reviving it has been kept in the hearts of life lovers of this lake during a long period, what we see from yesterday's and today's images expresses an unimaginable and agonizing transformation. Lake Urmia was the second-largest saltwater lake in the world and one of the twenty-five largest lakes globally. The lake played a role in the formation of part of the Azerbaijani civilization. Throughout history, people made their habitat by being in proximity to this lake. But what has happened to Lake Urmia today has doomed the lives of all those people.

In addition to humans, it was a habitat for migratory birds, including flamingos, and a natural reserve for animals in Iran. Birds have also suffered from these events. Now there is no sound of a bird, no wave to rock a boat, and no one waiting for a traveler to come with a Noah's Ark towards the bustling docks. Now Lake Urmia is a salt dragon that has settled in its ambush around its lifeless surroundings. The 1980s marked the beginning of Lake Urmia's drying up. In 2015, satellite images showed that eighty-eight percent of the lake's area had been lost. Drought, the construction of a highway on the lake without proper calculations, numerous wells dug around the lake, the operation of nearly two hundred dams along the rivers in the basin, all indicate the ambitious behaviours of people whose share of responsibility for the current state of the lake is immeasurable. The drying of Lake Urmia will be accompanied by a change from a temperate climate to a tropical climate, along with salt winds. The region's ecosystem will undergo significant changes. In addition to the excessive salinity, numerous harmful pollutants such as toxic metals and airborne toxic substances will be present in the air of these areas, causing respiratory diseases for the people of this region. Moreover, the migration and displacement of a large group of people estimated to be over thirteen million will pose a fundamental crisis to this important region of Iran.

Tirgan Statement:

We, the organizers of the "Empty Chalice: A Chronicle of Lake Urmia's Struggle" Photography Exhibition, have made a deliberate decision not to disclose the name of the photographer behind the exhibited works. We understand that this choice may raise questions and curiosity among our visitors, and we would like to provide a clear explanation for our decision. The primary motivation behind hiding the photographer's name is to ensure their safety and protect them from any potential repercussions. Documenting the environmental crisis surrounding Urmia Lake, especially its severe drying up, can often bring attention to sensitive issues and challenge certain established narratives. By withholding the photographer's identity, we aim to shield them from any potential risks, including political or societal backlash, that might arise due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter.

In a world where freedom of expression and the pursuit of truth can be constrained, it is essential to create spaces where artists and photographers feel secure to express themselves without fear of reprisal. This exhibition serves as a platform to shed light on the alarming environmental situation facing Urmia Lake, and we believe it is our responsibility to protect those who have dedicated their time, effort, and talent to capturing this critical issue.
We respect the photographer's choice to remain anonymous, as it allows the focus to remain on the urgent message conveyed through their compelling images rather than on their personal identity. This decision is in no way a reflection of the value we place on the photographer's work, but rather a precautionary measure to safeguard their well-being.

We hope that by presenting these thought-provoking photographs, we can raise awareness about the significant ecological challenges Urmia Lake is facing, encourage dialogue, and inspire collective action to address this pressing issue. We invite all visitors to immerse themselves in the power of the visuals, engage in discussions, and be part of the positive change that is desperately needed.
Thank you for understanding and supporting our commitment to preserving the anonymity of the photographer.

Tirgan Programming Team

هنوزنمی‌توان باورداشت که دریاچه‌ها نیزمی‌میرند. اما آیا می‌توان این مرگ نامحتوم را برای دریاچه ارومیه تصورکرد؟

گرچه سخن ازاحیاءآن،دردوران طولانی مدت، امید رادردل دوستداران حیات این دریاچه نگهداشته است، اما آنچه ازتصاویردیروز و امروز آن می بینیم‌ ، بیانی از تغییر شکلی غیرقابل تصور و رنج آور دارد.

دریاچه ارومیه دومین دریاچه آب شور جهان ویکی ازبیست وپنج دریاچه بزرگ دنیا بود.دریاچه‌ای که در شکل‌گیری بخشی ازتمدن آذربایجان نقش داشته است. آنان درطول تاریخ، محل سکونت زیست خود را از همجواری با این دریاچه سپری کردند. اما آنچه برای امروزدریاچه رخ داده زندگی همه آنان را به مرگی محتوم دچارکرده است.
این دریاچه علاوه برانسان‌ها، زیست‌گاه پرندگان مهاجراز جمله فلامینگوها و ذخیره‌گاه زیست طبیعی جانوران درایران بود. پرندگان نیزازاین اتفاق صدمه‌ها دیده اند.اکنون دراین دریاچه نه صدای پرنده‌ای است ونه موجی که قایقی را تکان بدهد ونه کسی که چشم انتظارمسافری باشد که باکشتی نوح (اولین کشتی دریاچه) به سمت اسکله‌های پرآب بیاید.اکنون دریاچه اژدهای سفید نمک است که به کمین زندگی خودواطرافش نشسته است.

دهه‌ی هشتاد آغاز خشک شدن دریاچه ارومیه بود. در سال 1394تصاویرماهواره‌ای نشان داد که هشتادوهشت درصد مساحت دریاچه ازدست رفته است،خشکسالی، احداث بزرگراه برروی دریاچه بدون محاسبات درست،حفرچاه‌های بسیاردرپیرامون دریاچه، بهره‌برداری از نزدیک به دویست سد در مسیررودخانه‌های حوزه آبریز، نشان از رفتارهای جاه طلبانه مردمانی داردکه
اینک بامرگ دریاچه سهم مسئولیت آنان غیرقابل ارزیابی است خشک شدن دریاچه ارومیه با تغییر هوای معتدل منطقه به هوای گرمسیری به همراه بادهای نمکی خواهد بود.وزیست منطقه باتغییرات فراوانی همراه خواهد شد علاوه برنمک بسیاری ازآلودگی‌های مخرب مانند فلزات سمی ومواد سمی هوازی در هوایاین مناطق معلق خواهند شد وبیماری‌های تنفسی برای مردمان این منطقه به همراه خواهد آورد. از سویی مهاجرت وکوچ گروه وسیعی ازمردم که جمعیت آنان را بالغ بر سیزده میلیون برآوردمی‌کنند این منطقه مهم ایران را با بحرانی اساسی مواجه می‌کند

Friday July 21, 2023

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