Tomasz Stabiński

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Vanishing Points

a story about exploring, learning and protecting the connections between the dots

Thinking about climate change, we often see rather worn-out clichés in front of our eyes – drastic images of scorched deserts, dried waters, burning forests. Feeding on – still pretty and spectacular pictures – we imagine cataclysms caused by rapid changes in weather conditions, not realizing that the effects of climate change are already being felt around us to a greater extent than we could expect. However, it is difficult to notice the problem in its spectrum without proper mindfulness and sensitivity to the microprocesses taking place in the immediate environment.

In the context of pollinators and their strategic importance for the ecosystem, we must be particularly sensitive to the problems faced by breeders, farmers, scientists or ecologists – there is currently practically no apiary in Poland that has not been hit by diseases or parasites that negatively affect the condition of bees and increasing their mortality. Diseases we are responsible for spreading. We just have to look closer.

Thinking about an ecosystem as something like a constellation – a system of interconnected points, the joint connection of which creates a specific image, is appropriate and convenient on the condition that we know what image a given constellation is supposed to create. Otherwise, we connect the points chaotically and accidentally, which ultimately can give an image straight from sensational thrillers, in which the main character, immersed in a months-long investigation, at the climax stands in front of a wall with a thoroughly analyzed “truth” in the form of a chaotic tangle of connections in which every detail is of the utmost importance.

Well, unfortunately – when it comes to the unknown in the form of climate change, which surprises us more and more often, it looks like this more and more often.

In 2021, when I first approached the subject, photographing honey bee diseases, I omitted Varroa, considering it not visually attractive enough. This time, Varroa, together with the Varroa Destructor mites that cause it, are the main axis of the whole story. As the „most popular”, the most widespread disease affecting bee colonies, it is a good basis to show many different aspects around which we build joint actions to improve the fate of pollinating insects, and ultimately ourselves – being well aware of the strategic importance of bees for the ecosystem in which we are living.

In big short – this topic evolved to long term project, with all of the layers, plots and unexpected conections, that are just waiting to discover. A story about institutions, places and people, who take serious actions in their areas and care about the fate of the bees.

Until we manage to completely control the diseases of other living beings resulting from our neglect of the species – this is still an open story that can be written down for the next chapters. More dots are waiting to be discovered before we irretrievably lose connection with them and we don’t have time to find an answer to the question: how do we shape what surrounds us in order to care for our home and our place?

What winners receive? And are we still winning at all?