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Nat Geo Abu Dhabi teams up with artists.

Indonesian artist Kathrin Honesta's illustration for National Geographic Abu Dhabi Plastic or Planet campaign.

Twelve artists from the 12 countries most responsible for the 9 million tons of plastic being dumped into the world's oceans every year, embarked on a partnership with National Geographic Abu Dhabi to drive awareness of our planet's plastic pollution crisis.

National Geographic Abu Dhabi has dedicated one month of its 2019 calendar to each artist from those countries suffering the most.

Harrowing stories are brought to life with first-hand accounts of floating plastic bag fish, straws piercing the bodies of marine life, bottles bobbing along their shorelines, reefs choking under tons of washed up garbage and sea animals floating belly-up bloated from ingesting plastic.

These works, although addressing a serious reality, are presented colorfully, creatively and playfully, making them accessible, yet driving home the message of National Geographic's Plastic or Planet campaign.

With Egypt alone consuming 12 billion tons of single-use plastic bags annually, Egyptian artist Ahmed Karam's illustration showcases a tiny dolphin trapped in a large plastic bag. Karam said: "This is a big problem that we are ignoring and that I wanted to represent in my art. By deliberately creating the dolphin smaller than the bag, trapped within it, I am illustrating how we minimize or diminish the issue."

A staggering 60 percent of single-plastic pollution is produced from just five countries: China, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

"The message I want to send out is that plastics are more dangerous than we think," said Thai artist Bom Cherdsak, whose work was inspired by a dying pilot whale off the coast of Thailand, after choking on 80 plastic bags.

"The power is in our hands and we can make better choices every single day to reduce the amount of plastic that enters our oceans," said Wilmari Botha, South African illustrator and contributor. She chose to illustrate the dangers of plastic on coastal birds who have also become the victims of plastic bags, bottles and straws.

Indian artist Pavan Rajurkar, whose visual shows the large price that marine life pays for just one plastic bottle dumped in the ocean, said: "Any small behavior changes on the part of people who see my illustration will give me the satisfaction that I am contributing to saving planet Earth."

Other artists featured in National Geographic Abu Dhabi 2019 Calendar are: Helena Iyzu from Bangladesh, Sheng Chen from China, Kathrin Honesta from Indonesia, Kelseyz from Malaysia, Thomas Ero from Nigeria, Kristy Anne Ligones from the Philippines, Ruwangi Amarasinghe from Sri Lanka and Thao Mien Phan from Vietnam.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Jan 29, 2019
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