Project info

#Contaminados (#Contaminated) is an environmental activist photography project that, through human portraits, attempts to shed light on the negative effects of fossil fuel power plants and industrial dumps all over the world. I hope to do this through the exposition of two towns on the small Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. The towns, Guayama and Peñuelas, are located in the southern portion of the island. Guayama hosts a power plant and Peñuelas an industrial dump which, among other pollutants, receives toxic ash from the power plant.
The people who are directly effected by the contamination have raised their voices and they have been heard, by me and many others. During four hectic days I had the pleasure of working with almost 200 people from all walks of life. Kids, artists, lawyers, doctors, entrepreneurs, activists, housewives all let me cover them in ashes, some even ate a spoonful. I was inspired to give this visual, of humans covered in ash, because in Peñuelas the contamination is so severe that toxic ash can be visible even in people’s backyards.

Herminio Rodríguez