In desert of Aral Sea

Shortlist 2019

Aleksandra Bardas

1988 born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Based in Germany, NRW. Aleksandra received a bachelor's degree at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Dortmund, Germany. At the time, master student at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Dortmund. She is working as a photographer, mainly in the field of portrait and reportage. Nominee of Nikon NOOR Workshop 2018, Budapest Photography Grant, "In the desert of Aral Sea," Climate, London 2018 ND-Neutral Density Photography Award, Honorable Mention in Editorial: Documentary, 2018.

The Problem

In desert of Aral Sea

The project covers the environmental catastrophe of long-term dehydration of the Aral Sea. The former Soviet economic plan for the region intended large scale cotton farming, which required excessive water consumption, taken from the two large rivers, Amudarya and Syrdarya. In the last decades, this led to massive desiccation, turning the salt sea which had been the livelihood for most people of the region into a salt desert. Today, people are forced increasingly to move from their homes to escape a hostile environment.