by Elizabeth Stitch

Overpopulation is a problem. We may not notice it as much in the US (other than the dreaded commute traffic), but it's an increasing problem on our globe. When we think of overpopulated regions, China may be the first to come to mind. China has experienced numerous famines throughout history. Most recently in the late 1950's/early 60's. Uncontrolled human fertility led to a depletion of the land’s fertility. There have reportedly been hundreds of millions of lives lost in China due to famine alone (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alon-tal/overpopulation-is-still-t_b_3990646.html).

Bernhard Lang is a contemporary photographer who created a series entitled OVERPOPULATION, which studies the aerial views of Manila, Philippines (https://www.behance.net/gallery/49396579/Manila-Philippines-Overpopulation). The artist's statement reads as follows:

Aerial Views MANILA, PHILIPPINES - OVERPOPULATION Having about 23 millions inhabitants Manila, Capitol of the Philippines, is one of the biggest metropolitan regions on the planet. About the half of its population lives in extremely densely populated Slums and Squatter Camps. Seen from above it get’s visible how close those cottages and scanty housings are compressed against each other with their varicolored rooftops. Manila shows, like the other Megacities the excrescences of overpopulation. Nearly 7.5 billion people are living on the planet today. The United Nations expect a consistent growth, which might lead to nine billion in 2050 and eleven billion human beings in 2100. Captured in February 2017, © Bernhard Lang

I've always enjoyed the aerial view of the land when flying, particularly over California. The green grid as seen from above has always been a sight that has brought me comfort. The images by Lang do quite the opposite. These shots are striking. They communicate a visual narrative that is both frightening and poignant. This series is effective in conveying the expansive impact that humans have upon the land. The effects are scary.