SMOG INDEX (≈≈) SERBIA by Amy Balkin as part of the Overview Effect project
Programme | 05.04.2021
Sun in Zhengzhou, China” Contributed by Geoff Seaman. Image: Geoff Seaman
GLOBAL SMOG AND HAZE
(≈≈) SMOG INDEX (SI) WANTS YOUR SMOG PHOTOS (≈≈)
SMOG INDEX (SI) is a collaborative photographic record of urban smog events, representing diverse points of view, locations, and experiences worldwide.
Have you experienced and photographed a smog event? If so, please contribute to Smog Index. Your contribution will shape this record.
Air pollution includes very fine particles of 2.5 micrometers or smaller (PM2.5). These can move deeply into the lungs or bloodstream, and when combined with ozone and sunlight create photochemical smog. Smog can cause burning eyes, painful and difficult breathing and lead to cancer, heart disease and early death.
While smog can be seen from a distance, it can be hard to distinguish and difficult to observe from within. But it can be photographed, and together collected images can form an index–a larger record and indicator–from individual experiences and documentation.
In January 2020, a smog event choked Belgrade, endangering the public and spurring protests and demands for clean air. Serbia, which generates more than 60% of its electricity from lignite coal-fired power plants, has extremely high concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 particle emissions, and is the ninth worst country for pollution deaths from all sources globally. Lignite is a poor quality, sulfur-rich brown coal that produces high levels of sulfur dioxide and ash when burned.
But this is just one of a host of interrelated problems damaging air quality and public health in Serbia. These include the grey market sale of poor-quality lignite containing clay to families for home heating, the politics of air quality data reporting, and the environmental impacts of privatization. And Serbia's planned reliance on lignite-coal power plants through 2028 means excessive levels of air pollution are likely to persist, even as renewable sources of energy come online.
In this context, there is a continued need to advocate and agitate for clean air and public health, from the work of grassroots groups to the value of public documentation of the effects of smog and other air pollution.
Have you experienced and photographed a smog event in Belgrade or Serbia? If so, please contribute to Smog Index.
• Digital Images (High resolution if available)
• Your name OR Anonymous
• Image Time and Date (if available)
• Location (Address, City, Country, Coordinates, etc.)
• Any other information: Personal account or story, AQI (Air Quality Index) app screenshots or readings, PM2.5, PM10 levels, news links, social media screenshots, etc.
PERMISSION: Submitted copies of images become a permanent part of SMOG INDEX, for use online and for reproduction of the index for exhibition in offline formats (projection, print, etc.). Include your name if you wish to be credited, otherwise please submit anonymously.
SMOG INDEX (≈≈) SERBIA is initiated by Amy Balkin in coordination with the Overview Effect, a project of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade.