Solomon Islands youth, Jovi Totorea won First Runner-Up Award from the UK Pacific Climate Change Photo Competition

Recently, Her Majesty the Queen recognized the efforts of Miss Solomon Islands, Gladys Habu in advocating for Climate Change; telling the story of their island known as “Kale” that once called home but now submerged as a result of climate change.

The effects of sea level rise is not a theory anymore for Pacific Islands nation. It is happening and affecting the lives of many in ways unimaginable.

The Solomon Islands Herald caught up with another young Solomon Islander, Jovi Totorea, who uses his hobby(photography) to tell a story of climate change effects in the Pacific. He is the recipient of the runner-up award for the UK Pacific Climate Change Photo Competition.

Here is the correspondence:

Hello Jovi, Congratulations for scooping the first runner-up award.

Please tell us a bit about yourself? Where are you from? What do you study? And Is photography a hobby for you?
My name is Jovi Totorea from Malaita Province. Studying Bachelor degree Environmental science at University of the South Pacific, Laucala Campus, Fiji. I am 27 years old and photography is one of my hobbies.

Briefly tell us about the competition? How did you hear about it? What’s the motivation to join?

The competition was arranged by the United Kingdom Pacific Climate change to highlight the impacts and challenges of climate change across the Pacific region through pictures. There were five categories; Marine, Land, People, Youths (under 21) and Junior (12 and under).

I didn’t know about the competition until one of my friends tagged me on Facebook to give it a try. I wasn’t thinking of going into the competition but a few minutes before the due date I submitted one photo; I felt it wasn’t good not to participate in such a competition.

Which photo(s) got you into the first runner-up place and what’s the story behind the image(s)?

I did submit only one photo that captured a mangrove and the building in the background. I did want to share a message about the rising sea level and how we can ease the effects that people are facing now by replanting these mangroves because Climate change cannot be stopped nor the impacts.To my surprise they did select my photo for the first runner up for the land category.

Solomon Islands youth, Jovi Totorea won First Runner-Up Award from the UK Pacific Climate Change Photo Competition
First Runner-Up Photo, Land Category – Photographer Jovi Totorea, Solomon Islands

What’s the award like?
For the first runner up winner in the climate change photo competition, I received a GoPro Hero7.

Jovi Totorea pose for a photo shoot with first runner-up award

What lessons did you learn during the process of shooting up to the win? Are there any challenges? If so, how do you manage them?
I did learn that being a photographer, there is no bad photo, the way we share a message through photos is very important. Shooting the landscape picture for the climate change competition is challenging because I did love portrait photography and to give a right message using this type of photography is hard. But few friends encourage me to give a go.

What advice can you give to anyone(youths) interested in photography?

If anyone has the passion to do photography, just give it a go. You don’t know the unlimited potential that is hidden in you. Photography does not need very expensive gadgets, phones can do it, so anyone can do it.

What’s your future plan for Fleshless Arts?

Oh yes, Fleshless Arts will continue to share faces of the Pacific, maybe more landscape pictures including impacts that Pacific Islanders are facing now of climate change.

Solomon Islands youth, Jovi Totorea won First Runner-Up Award from the UK Pacific Climate Change Photo Competition
Exibition at Grand Pacific Hotel, Fiji