Each day, 90-year-old Wayan gathers his nets and mesh sacks and sets his small boat out on the coast of Bali. The jewel-toned waters used to be a prime location for fishing, a profession Wayan practiced throughout childhood and continued for decades, but today, instead of reeling in massive catches and struggling to drag them back to shore, he’s finding an overabundance of disposable containers and garbage where the once-thriving marine populations used to live—some reports estimate that there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050.
In her impactful short film “Voice Above Water,” San Francisco-based director Dana Frankoff visits Wayan at his coastal home and chronicles his adapted routine: rather than harvesting food for his family and community, he scoops up wrappers, bottles, and other refuse and carries the discarded material back to the beach for recycling. “The story is a glimpse into how one human is using his resources to make a difference and a reminder that if we all play our part we can accomplish something much greater than ourselves,” Frankoff says.
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Taken recently off the coast of Bali, these surreal photos are the creation of Montreal-based director and photographer Benjamin Von Wong, known for his exceedingly difficult photoshoots. Where it might be more practical to create the complex aspects of these photos digitally, Von Wong took a different path and assembled a team of two models who also happen to be trained freedivers, 7 additional support divers, and obtained special permission to utilize a 50-year-old underwater shipwreck. The entire shoot took place 25 meters below the surface, and because of the extreme conditions and limitations, he relied heavily on natural light to create the final images you see here.
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