Maximilian Mann

Fading Flamingos

Project Description

Largely unnoticed by the world public, a major environmental disaster is taking place in Lake Urmia in northwestern Iran. Where ten years ago the waves splashed against the walls of the villages, today you see an almost endless desert. Ships that once brought people from one side of the lake to the other now lie like stranded whales on the shore, decaying.

Salt winds from the desert are spreading farther and farther over the residents’ fields, causing the crops to dry up. Robbed of their livelihoods, the residents are fleeing to the surrounding towns, and the villages around the lake are dying out.

Lake Urmia was once the second largest salt lake in the world, ten times bigger than Lake Constance. However, within a few years, the surface area of the lake has shrunk by eighty percent. Both climate change and the agriculture sector’s enormously high water consumption rates are responsible for this.

If this disaster is not stopped, up to five million residents could be forced to leave the area in the future.


Nationality: German

Maximilian Mann (1992) grew up in Kassel, Germany. During a voluntary service in Tanzania, his desire to study photography grew. In his photographic works, he is primarily engaged in socially marginalised groups and minorities in Eastern Europe.

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Posted by Thaddeus Pope

Thaddeus Pope is the Director of Visual Communications for The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) and the Creative Director of the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award.

One Comment

  1. […] also to Maximilian Mann (Second Place) from Germany, Rafael Heygster (Third Place) also from Germany, Alba Diaz (Honourable […]

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