SAVING

ORANGUTANS

By Alain Schroeder

© Alain Schroeder

ABOUT THE PROJECT

This series documents the incongruous behavior between man and the environment in Sumatra, Indonesia. On the one hand humans destroy virgin forests, wounding and killing animals, while on the other hand they do everything possible to save them. One day, an orangutan is found peppered and blinded by 74 air bullet wounds, and the very next day a surgeon travels halfway across the planet to save it.

 

Indonesia’s Sumatran orangutan is under severe threat from the incessant and ongoing depletion and fragmentation of the rainforest.  As palm oil and rubber plantations, logging, road construction, mining, hunting and other development continue to proliferate, orangutans are being forced out of their natural rainforest habitat. 

 

Organizations like the OIC (Orangutan Information Center) and their immediate response team HOCRU (Human Orangutan Conflict Response Unit), rescue orangutans in difficulty (lost, injured, captive...) while the SOCP (Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme) cares for, rehabilitates and resocializes orangutans at their purpose-built medical facility, aiming to reintroduce them into the wild and to create new self-sustaining, genetically viable populations in protected forests.

That we share 97% of our genetic heritage with orangutans seems obvious when you observe their human-like behavior. Today, with just over 14,000 specimens left, the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo Abelii) along with the 800 specimens of the recently discovered Tapanuli species (Pongo tapanuliensis), are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER

Alain Schroeder is a Belgian photojournalist born in 1955. Freelance sports photographer from 1979 till 1989. In 1989 he founded Reporters (http://www.reporters.be), a well-known photo agency in Belgium. He has illustrated over thirty books dedicated to China, Persia, the Renaissance, Ancient Rome, the Gardens of Europe, Thailand, Tuscany, Crete, Vietnam, Budapest, Venice, the Abbeys of Europe, Natural Sites of Europe, etc.  Belgian titles include, « Le Carnaval de Binche vu par 30 Photographes », and « Processions de Foi, Les Marches de l’Entre-Sambre-et-Meuse ».  Publications include National Geographic, Geo, Paris-Match,… 

In 2012, he sold his shares in Reporters and since then travels the world shooting personal projects focusing on social issues and human interest stories. 

He has won many international awards including a Japan Nikon Award 2017 for the Rohingya series, the TPOTY Travel Photographer of the Year Award 2017 with the series Living for Death and the series Kushti, and 1st prize at World Press Photo 2018 for the series Kid Jockeys in the category Sports Stories,… and participated in numerous exhibitions worldwide.

He is represented in Belgium by Reporters and in France by the photo agency Rea and Hemis.

https://alainschroeder.myportfolio.com

ALAIN SCHROEDER & PEP

 

With his series "Kim City", Alain Schroeder participated in PEP's third collective exhibition: Public Space .

 

For this exhibition, he showcased a series of images taken during a trip to North Korea in late 2018. He explains how the authorities completely control how visitors see the city. Photographers being chaperoned and surveilled by official government guides who tell them what to do, what to look at or not and what to photograph. In this way, his series is both an authentic and artificial depiction of Pyongyang. 

"Kim City" by Alain Schroeder, from the PEP exhibition "Public Space"