Edited Created Image: Chemicals in Camouflage



Creative Commons Licence



Contributed date

February 8, 2019 - 1:47pm

Critical Commentary

This piece considers the slow and slippery relinquishing of the earth to development and contamination. It showcases the ever-presence of toxicity as well as the everyday and mundane harm that pollution, plastics, and chemicals have become. As a kind of covert violence, neo-colonialism forces toxicity upon peoples who have been historical set in discourses of need, and often what appears as a Western-powered resource or a sign of progress are in fact harmful and inhumane. Of particular importance are the vibrant colors of the toxins, shown in the transposed image of jars of pesticides, cleaners, and fertilizers, which are photos of an installation that I created. The bright, glowing affects mimic some of the healing medicines and wild elixers from local medical systems in Uganda, where the base image photo was taken. There is allure in contamination. Toxic effects can be subtle and long-term, solving our immediate crises in exchange for other, deeper impacts, which take us further from our "natural state" as humans who live in connection with the earth and exist as an extension of the landscape. This piece questions how de-valued bodies become saturated with industrial toxicity.

Cite as

Kara Miller, "Edited Created Image: Chemicals in Camouflage", contributed by Kara Miller, Center for Ethnography, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 8 February 2019, accessed 1 August 2021.