Welcome to the Geography Graduate Society’s (GGS) 2021 Photography, Infographics, and Multimedia Exhibit! Normally held in person, this exhibit displays photos, research-related videos, maps, and art in a more creative and accessible format than your typical academic journal. Despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, many grad students and faculty were able to conduct local fieldwork safely over the past year, while others have showcased their creative methods, remote research, and work-from-home setups. From fieldwork photos, to interactive maps, to watercolour painting, the exhibit demonstrates the diversity of research taking place in the department – locally in Montreal, and as far as Hanoi and Abu Dhabi.
Click on each image to see the full size version.
Wendy Ampuero Reyes
Top left: The tide is coming! Some plots are covering with saltwater from the St. Lawrence estuary. This site is classified as a macrotidal (mean tidal range > 4 m) and mésohaline (5-17 ‰) marsh. (August 2020, La Pocatière, QC, Canada)
Top right: Competition. Stands of invasive Phragmites australis encroaching into the Spartina patens community. (August 2020, La Pocatière, QC, Canada)
Bottom left: Nature defies plastic. Spartina patens root found in the upper 15 cm of soil growing through a plastic. (August 2020, La Pocatière, QC, Canada)
Bottom right: Roots and rhizomes separated. From left to right: Spartina patens, Phragmites australis and Cyperus esculentus, all found in the 15-30 cm soil interval. (August 2020, La Pocatière, QC, Canada)
Top left: International visitors receive a tour of the Sustainable City in Dubai. The Sustainable City sells a new model of green living, experimenting with aquaponics, solar energy, and harvesting water from humidity in the air. It’s hard to ignore the surroundings of this sustainable paradise – a desert climate, no fresh water, and a country dependent on oil – while the only way in and out of the city is via highway. Still, the developers hope this community will become a blueprint for 10 more “sustainable cities” worldwide. (February 2020)
Top right: Masdar City, Abu Dhabi is a new master-planned city for 50,000 people. The new smart city aims to be a pioneer in renewable energy and autonomous vehicles and become a global model for sustainable urban living. Only phase one has been completed so far, and the city remains largely empty, despite the 4,000 or so office workers who frequent its buildings. (February 2020)
Bottom left: The Louvre Abu Dhabi is the first of four planned museums and art galleries on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi’s new arts and culture district. The district combines international brands – the Louvre, a Guggenheim, and an NYU campus – with local cultural heritage through a maritime museum and a national museum. Saadiyat Island is part of a strategic plan to boost tourism and diversify the economy away from oil, as Abu Dhabi seeks to set itself apart from the spectacular opulence of Dubai. The Louvre’s price tag is upwards of $1 billion USD. (February 2020)
Bottom right: Tourists take photos and selfies during sunset at the Louvre Abu Dhabi. French architect Jean Nouvel designed the Louvre as a ‘museum city’, drawing inspiration from traditional Arab urban forms like the medina and architectural styles including a dome roof. The Louvre’s dome is made up of over 10,000 geometric components, which provide shade during the day by allowing sunlight to filter through holes in the dome’s eight layers. In the evening, the ceiling is meant to resemble the night sky. (February 2020)
Corey Dickinson and Jugal Patel
"Truely, the hardest thing to map is not the terrain of an unknown country, but rather the contours of the human heart" - Gerardus Mercator
Lake seasons. North-west Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada, within the traditional territory of the Algonquin Nation. Compilation of Sentinel-2 satellite photoexhibit. For my PhD research I investigate the temperature and mixing regime of all lakes of the world, using satellite infrared waves. Although nothing beats a real-life, refreshing lake swim, the beauty of our inland waters as seen from space is astonishing. (Compilation of Sentinel-2 satellite photoexhibit between 2018 and 2019)
Left: This patchwork of land use is a common sight in the highlands of northern Thailand. However, as my research explores, it is a long-standing source of state-minority tension and control. Chiang Mai Province, Thailand. (2020)
Right: The only way to get through the pandemic was by focusing on the little things! Such as this coffee shop, which was entirely decorated with flowers planted in broken toasters and blenders. Chiang Mai Province, Thailand. (2020)
Right: A herder and a lamb. (2019)
Centre: Home security camera allows herders to monitor their livestock using cellphone instead of checking them very often. One respondent indicates if he can chip the bellwether and controls its movement, that will largely reduce the time he spends on herding too. (2019)
Left: Herding on motorcycle in Inner Mongolia. (2019)
Video: On the way for conducting household surveys on the Mongolian steppe. (2019)
Top left: Installing bicycle counters on a pop-up bike lane on avenue Pierre-de Coubertin, Montreal. (July 2020)
Top right: “Safe Active Lanes” pop-up bike lane on avenue Christophe-Colomb, Montreal. (June 2020)
Bottom left: “Health Corridors” in the Mile End, Montreal with traffic calming. (May 2020)
Bottom right: Water misting station on pedestrianized Mount Royal Avenue, Montreal. (July 2020)
An interactive map of micromobility trajectories in Montreal, Berlin, Zurich, and Vienna. (2020)
Top right: Comparison of the surface area of the large lakes of the world, all drawn to the same scale. Colours reflect surface water cover change from 1984 to 2019 (red:loss, blue:gain). Grey italicized names are associated with human-made reservoirs.
Top left: Water ceases to flow for at least one day per year along 51-60% of the world’s rivers by length. We demonstrated for the first time that non-perennial rivers and streams are the rule rather than the exception on Earth.
Bottom left: On the perks of remote work: feline research assistant.
Bottom right: On the perks of remote work: ergonomic workspaces.
Top: Lusail, Qatar, is a new city under construction that is part of the infrastructure being built to host the FIFA World Cup 2022. The city is being designed for 450,000 people and its centerpiece is ‘Lusail Iconic Stadium’, an 86,000 person stadium for the World Cup. (November, 2020)
Bottom left: Barwa Al Baraha Labour Camp, Doha, Qatar – This is a labour camp outside of Doha that houses 70,000 migrant workers from South and Southeast Asia who are building infrastructure for the FIFA World Cup 2022. Nearby are various facilities for migrant workers including mosques, a mall, a cricket pitch, and stadium. The self-sufficiency of the labour camps means that the workers never need to travel to Doha and are invisible to Qataris. (November, 2019)
Bottom left: The Avenues Mall in Kuwait City is the largest mall in Kuwait and has a series of themed sections, including a Champs-Élysées-Rodeo Drive mashup; a hybrid of Hong Kong’s Kowloon, Tokyo’s Ginza district, and New York’s Times Square; and a traditional Arab Souk (pictured). The creators of the mall went to great expense to make each zone feel ‘authentic’ yet all are fusions inspired by iconic international places. (November, 2019)
Video: This is a video of Sabah Al Ahmad Sea City, Kuwait, a new city project built around a series of canals that tunnel 6 miles inland to maximize the waterfront property. While this was intended to be a ‘city’ with businesses and jobs, at present it is mainly weekend villas for residents of Kuwait City. (November, 2019)
Left: In my PhD research project, I look into the lives and livelihoods of motorbike taxi drivers (or xe ôm) in Hanoi - the capital city of Vietnam. 'Traditional' xe ôm drivers, who are usually informal workers, have experienced significant changes in their livelihoods after numerous ride-hailing companies offering similar motorbike taxi services started to gain ground in Vietnam. This photo I took of an informal xe ôm driver while the driver was waiting for customers near a busy intersection in the centre of Hanoi. (September 2020)
Right: This photo I took of a motorbike taxi driver, Hoa, who now works for Grab – a major ride-hailing platforms in Vietnam and South East Asia. As we rode together across the busy streets of Hanoi, Hoa shared with me how she took up this male-dominated job of transporting people for a living. After the pandemic wreaked havoc on the local tourism industry, Hoa was forced to quit her waitressing job at a small pub located in a tourist district of Hanoi. Hoa was not her real name but it reminds me of her floral sun-protective jacket, which she was wearing outside the iconic green uniform of Grab drivers (Hoa means flower in Vietnamese and is also a common women's name in Vietnam). (June 2020)
Jugal Patel / Peter Garber
Science Communication: An Example.
Right: New field assistant: Covid restriction may not have let us be together for field work, but that didn't mean I spent the field days alone. (2020)
Centre: Mer Bleue boardwalk: One of the unexpected perks of being in the Applied Remote Sensing Lab is that we always have beautiful blue skies for field work. I don't know that I'll ever see Mer Bleue on an overcast day. (2019)
Left: I spy: For such an impressive, expensive piece of equipment, the drone and its sensors are barely visible from the ground. Close up pictures like this one of the flora we study are a reminder of the effect of scale. At this level, the tangled layers of moss, herbs, and shrubs could almost be mistaken for forest understories. (2019)
Top left: Woman planting rice. Yangshuo, Guilin. (2020, based on a 2015 reference photo by Dr. Brian Robinson)
Rop right: The new city of Tamesna, Morocco. (2020, based on a 2016 reference photo by Laurence Côté-Roy)
Bottom left: The new city of Dompak, Riau Islands Province, Indonesia. (2021, based on a 2016 reference photo by Alyssa Wilbur)
Bottom right: Hmong man transplanting rice, Ta Phin, Sapa District, Lai Can province, Northern Vietnam. (2021, based on a 2015 photo by Dr. Sarah Turner)
Left: I recruited Hanh, my fabulous research assistant based in Hanoi, Vietnam, to go to a small mountain town in the Sino-Vietnamese borderlands, in January this year and pass on some gifts to my ethnic minority friends and informants there for Hmong New Year. They have been hit hard by the pandemic (because their main cash income is from guiding tourists on treks). While she was there, she took a break and did a well-deserved sightseeing trip on a cable car that reaches the highest peak in Vietnam, Mt Fansipan – this is the view from the top. Photo credit: Ngo Hanh, Hanoi. (2021)
Centre: Vietnam has done extremely well to keep control of Covid-19 overall, raising interesting debates about the role of a socialist state (one-party rule) in managing a pandemic. In the meantime, in Sapa, a small upland Vietnamese town on the border with China, Saturday market trade was continuing as usual in January 2021. Photo credit: Ngo Hanh, Hanoi. (2021)
Right: Jennifer Langill and Binh Nguyen (PhD candidates in our dept) and I have been working on a project and article about the impacts of Covid-19 on street vendors in Southeast Asia. This is a photo that my RA Hanh took of one of her interviewees for that project, a flower vendor in Hanoi, who said that the pandemic had resulted in sales plummeting. Photo credit: Ngo Hanh, Hanoi. (2020)
Map: A former Honours student designed this narrative map of a woman street vendor’s migration from a rural village to Hanoi, and then her daily route around the city as she sells flowers and tries to avoid city officials who frown upon street vendors as ‘unmodern’. This map has just been published in a book chapter focusing on journaling and narrative mapping as forms of innovative qualitative methods. Image credit: Celia Zuberec, Montreal. (2020)