My new documentary project Invisible threat originated from my previous project Growing. For Growing, I photographed leaf-eating insects and snails and slug and at the beginning I though I could buy the food plant I needed for these animals at the garden center. This turned out not to be the case; the animals died within hours of feeding them the new plant. At first, I thought I did something wrong, but slowly I started to discover a pattern; If I bought a regular plant, the animals died, but if I bought an organically grown plant or if I used a plant that had been growing in my garden for years without any chemicals being used, the animals were thriving and there were no more deaths. Different research done in the Netherlands, but also other countries like the UK has shown that the majority of non-organic plants that are being sold at garden centers contain a cocktail of several different pesticides. It became clear to me that this would be a plausible explanation for the problems I faced with feeding non-organic plants.
The more I learned about this subject, the more I realized that it was a bit of a taboo and people didn’t want to talk about it. For example, if I asked if a specific plant would be safe for insects as food, people got mad and irritated. I also noticed that in discussions about biodiversity in the media or politics, pesticides were rarely mentioned as a cause of the decline in the number of insects and other creatures.
In order to try to change this situation, I decided to make a documentary project about the effects of pesticides. The first part of my project is now finished; it shows the effects on insects and slugs. click on the link or image for more information and photos
Effects on insects