BREATH OF SWAMPS
Belarus and in particular the region, where I was born (Polesye), is famous for huge areas covered by swamps.
The meaning of swamps are ambiguous. From the first view they are unpleasant, very dangerous and not suitable for living. But it’s only at the first sight. Swamps play an important role in our ecosystem. We can call them ‘the lungs of the planet’ along with the forests as they preserve carbon dioxide and proceed it after into a peat. The peat in turn is widely used in medicine, agriculture and chemical industry. Swamps filter water and form the beginning of rivers. There are growing unique plants such as cranberry, blueberry and cloudberry.
But human steps are seen even in this inaccessible areas. People started to inning swamps to get peat and expand agricultural areas and the impact is horrible. We changed ecosystem, climate and life of the whole region. During my research process I was inspired by the stories of people who lived and lives their whole live near swamps. Swamp is part of their daily life. Swamp feeds them and works as a natural boarder and protection from unwanted guests. With the disappearance of swamps we loose the unique culture, traditions, knowledge and mode of life.
This project was inspired by a documentary movie made by a non-profit organisation 'BAHNA'.
The original video you can watch here (a research team BAHNA).