When architect and fantastical visionary Richard Buckminster Fuller designed a two-dimensional map, plotting the earth’s entire surface in the 1940s, he stressed the equal significance of each continent by representing them as one singular, connected landmass suspended in a single blue ocean. The planet itself, which revolves around the sun at a speed surpassing two million kilometres an hour, Fuller christened ‘Spaceship Earth’. Bucky, as he was known, was driven by the optimistic and all-encompassing question of ‘How to run this ship successfully in the interest of everyone on board?’
Throughout the unbounded oeuvre of globetrotting photographer Iwan Baan, the world once again appears as a single island in the ocean, a world apparently devoid of hierarchy yet simultaneously celebrated for the uniqueness of the many parts which make the whole.
We asked Iwan to help us in the curation of a round-the-world trip to some of the most hopeful places on earth: places where nature and humankind’s ingenuity converge, and where people are making a difference. What’s hopeful about them, according to Iwan? After globalization, which has birthed a kind of monoculture, it’s the fascinating fusion between local and universal which fills him with hope. That and the marks left behind which provide evidence of human inventiveness and resilience.
To travel with Iwan to these unique places is to see the world as we have never seen it before: below the ground, from the air, vibrant, overwhelming, hammered together, cultivated, raw, restored and resurrected. With a tireless narrator such as Iwan, you hardly need go there yourself. Fasten your safety belts for a vertiginous and mind-altering experience!
From the cockpit, your captain on this paper flight,
– Nicole Ex,
The editor’s note is included in See All This #22.
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