Hard Rain: Our Headlong Collision with Nature

These are the last few days of Hard Rain: Our headlong Collision with Nature, an exhibition in the North East Gallery of the visitors’ lobby at the UN here in NYC. Catch it before it closes on June 12th.

Hard Rain is a photo essay by Mark Edwards, a photographer and founder of the photo agency Still Pictures, on the subject of climate change, poverty and the sixth great extinction. In July 1969, lost on the edge of the Sahara desert, Edwards was rescued by a Tuareg nomad who took the photographer to his people, rubbed two sticks together to make a fire and produced a cassette player of Bob Dylan singing A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall. As Dylan piled image upon image, the idea came to Edwards of illustrating each line of the song. In the years that followed, he travelled to over 150 countries to photograph our headlong collision with nature. Hard Rain is the result — a collection of photographs illustrating Dylan’s prophetic lyrics.

Dylan wrote Hard Rain during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. But, as he has stated, this extraordinary song is open to much wider interpretation. “It doesn’t really matter where a song comes from. It just matters where it takes you.”

Images from Edwards’ personal archive, plus contributions by Sebastião Salgado, Chris Steele-Perkins and others, combine with the words of rock music’s great poetic writer to form the centrepiece of Hard Rain. Also on display is a section of commentaries by Edwards and other notables such as David Bohm, J. Krishnamurti, James Lovelock and Jeffrey Sachs.

For hours and directions to the UN click here, and for the full 2008 calendar of exhibitions at the UN click here.

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