Johan Oldekop's amazing Amazon in All Other Things Being Equal at the Manchester Museum

By Culture24 Reporter | 10 December 2012
A black and white photo of a young South American man's face looking sideways
Portrait of a Young Man© Johan Oldekop

Exhibition Preview: All Other Things Being Equal, Manchester Museum, Manchester, until June 2 2013

Originally a Biology student in Manchester, the Brussels-born explorer Johan Oldekop goes by the calling card "mad as a scientist" and has linked up with Arts Council England and Magnum Photos projects during the past decade, as well as projects spanning Honduras to Ecuador and Norway.

In his latest post, At Washington State University, he’s examining food security policies, land-use change and the impact both spheres have on biodiversity in Brazil, which is a neat encapsulation of the sort of matters he’s put his mind to during his conservation-minded work with rural communities.

A black and white photo of a South American forest with few trees under a wind
Burning field (2008)© Johan Oldekop
The Royal Geographical Society supported some of his endeavours for this show, giving him a Postgraduate Research Award three years ago to look at the conflicting push-and-pull between maintaining immense biodiversity and meeting economic necessities in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Oldekop mixes photos and sounds with representations of socio-economic date and good old-fashioned specimens from the revered natural history collection held by his old institution.

Combined, they aim to scratch the surface of a complex relationship between humans and the natural world in an amazing part of the world.

  • Open 10am-5pm (11am-4pm Sunday, Monday, Bank Holidays and December 27-31, closed December 24-26 and January 1). Admission free. Follow the museum on Twitter @McrMuseum.
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