The image ‘Excess’ taken at New Covent Garden Market in London, the largest wholesale fruit, vegetable, and flower market in the UK, is a part of the ongoing project, exploring consumption patterns, factors contributing to food waste and its redistribution, especially in the developed countries.
The UN estimates that global food waste from households, retail establishments and the food service industry totalled 931 million tonnes in 2019. However, the UN has said that accurate global estimates of food waste are difficult to attain as “global food waste data availability is currently low, and measurement approaches have been highly variable”. The UK is reported as a country with high-quality data. Food waste in the UK According to the most recent report by the charity Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), the UK produced around 9.5 million tonnes of food waste in 2018. It is said, that in developed countries, consumers and retailers throw away between 30% and 40% of all food purchased, whereas in poorer countries only 5% to 16% of food is thrown away.
Besides the significant economic costs, food wastage also incurs environmental impacts. Because of its biodegradable nature, when food is disposed of to landfill, it decomposes under anaerobic conditions releasing methane, a greenhouse gas that is twenty-one times more potent than carbon dioxide. The carbon footprint of food produced and not eaten is estimated at 3.3 gigatonnes of CO2, meaning that if food waste were a country it would rank as the third highest national emitter of greenhouse gases after the US and China.
“Production of food is one of the biggest production sectors in the world, and if one-third of all this is just produced in vain you can imagine what a huge impact this has on the natural resources – on land, water, energy and greenhouse gas emissions,” says Robert van Otterdijk, coordinator of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s Save Food programme.
Meanwhile, the social and moral dimensions of food waste cannot be ignored. The latest edition of the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World estimates that between 720 and 811 million people in the world faced hunger in 2020. Considering the middle of the projected range (768 million), around 118 million more people were facing hunger in 2020 than in 2019.
The ongoing project ‘Excess’ explores the above issues through the still imagery highlighting the abstract nature of food waste yet implicitly pointing to the multiplicity of adverse impacts, both local and global, this problem causes.
About the artist:
Nat Urazmetova (born in Ufa, former USSR) and lives and works in London.
She is a visual storyteller and interdisciplinary artist, who is mainly using the mediums of video and photography. She is exploring the possibilities of representing non-linearity, rhizomatic, decentralised and dislocated perception, fluidity & uncanniness, layers of memory and time, and enquiring into alternative and intra life forms through looking at their molecular fabrics. At the core of her exploration and research are the perspectives and processes extending beyond human, dealing with the environmental concerns and addressing the idea of post-image. Nat’s work is rooted in the biological & organic matter, it is blurring the boundaries of the natural and the artificial, and using fiction as method and intersectionality as theoretical approach.
Nat is collaborating with musicians, sound designers and dancers on a series of live audio-visual performances and films.
Performed at Modern Art Oxford, Musikinstrumenten Museum Berlin, Centre for Contemporary Arts Glasgow, LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur Münster. Participated in international exhibitions, competitions and festivals: Urbanscapes Malaysia, European Media Art Festival Germany, Athens Photo Festival, Copenhagen Photo Festival, Kolga Photo Tbilisi Photo, Garage Art Experiment, Bar-Tur Photography Award, Fotofest, Fotofreo, Neu/Now, Photomonth.
Previously worked with the EYESONTHEWALL visual label on development and realisation of the live visual performances for the events such as: Glastonbury, Roundhouse Rising, Turning Point and Big Chill Festivals; Electrovision; Ron Arad ‘Curtain Call’; Live Performers Meeting; Mute Presents ‘Short Circuit’; Frank Zappa at Roundhouse. Nat contributed as a cinematographer and moving image editor to SOME/THINGS, and worked with Calvert 22 Foundation and Kunstraum.