Ep.5 Transcript: Message from Midway

Music
Taoudella by Blue Dot Sessions

Chris Jordan
Midway. That to me is like a whole philosophy of life in one word. Midway between all of the mistakes that have ever been made and the still unwritten story of our future.

Anja
Welcome to the Plastisphere, the podcast on plastic, people and the planet. My name is Anja Krieger. In this episode, I’ll bring you a story from an island in the Pacific, thousands of miles away from land. It’s called Midway Island, and it has shaped our image of ocean plastics.

Almost a decade ago, photographer Chris Jordan travelled to Midway to document the effects of plastic pollution. His images of dead sea birds with plastic in their guts went viral around the world. They were quite hard to look at.

It’s the little chicks of albatross, the birds that nest on the island. Their bones are laid bare and their feathers are withering away. But the things they ingested are still very much intact: You can make out a red cigarette lighter, a blue bottlecap, and even an entire yellow toothbrush. In fact, these birds were full of plastic.

Chris Jordan was so haunted by this sight that he decided to go back. The photographer visited the island again and again. And he discovered a new, and beautiful side of the story. That’s what his documentary film Albatross is all about. It’s a message from Midway, and what it can teach us.
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