Chris King is from the north of Ireland, and works internationally on commissioned work, personal projects, and collaborations.
Chris graduated from Southampton University with a Masters in Engineering for Development (MSc), after working for 2 years with grassroots environmental and social justice organisations across Europe. Before that he graduated from Glasgow University with an Honours Degree in Aeronautical Engineering (BEng Hons), specialising in spaceflight.
After graduating from his Masters, he went on to live and work in France, Cambodia, Australia, Egypt and Morocco. During this time he was involved in a range of activities – from impact assessments of disaster relief projects, to learning about Permaculture design and staying with one of the founders of the movement and his family for a month, as well as leading adventure tours into the Sinai, the Sahara and up the High Atlas mountains.
Chris has sought to raise awareness and engage people on issues such as the impacts of the industrial food system and climate change, where the magnitude of the issue, and the urgency with which it must be addressed is not reflected in public or political engagement. Chris uses photography, video production, the written word and the production of podcasts and multimedia pieces with this intention.
One of Chris’s long-term projects focuses on the issue of food waste, for which he created a dedicated site – foodiswasted.com – in an attempt to share his exploration of the subject as he went along, and to create an accessible platform to engage and inform people of the causes and consequences of avoidable food waste, and the work being done to reduce it.
With the UK having the worst record in Europe for food waste, and the issue at the time of commencing the project being largely unreported, Chris initially wanted to attempt to maximise the impact of my work on a UK audience. With that in mind he started exploring the issue locally – first in London, and the waste produced within a major city, then on farms across the UK, where the amount of avoidable food waste generated sits at around 20-40% of produce grown, but can often involve leaving entire crops to rot, all of which is largely invisible. He then went on to document the issue and the people working to fight food waste in Denmark, Italy and Portugal.
From the outset he decided to take a human-centric approach – sharing the voices and activities of people, to make it more relatable and easier for the audience to engage with. By focusing on those who were proactively working to reduce the amount of edible food going to waste, his work also had a solutions-focus, in the hope it would inspire action and nurture hope that, while being a pervasive, systemic issue, we can all play a role in helping create the cultural shift necessary to address avoidable food waste.
The approach he took with this project now informs all his other work and initiatives.
During his work with grassroots organisations, his studies during his Masters, and particularly when working in Cambodia, where he carried out participatory research with remote communities to assess the impact of a water project by a disaster relief organisation, Chris gained a deep understanding of the importance of representation, and the need and means to share the voices of those who often go unheard.
His latest initiative – Documenting Climate Change – was born out of a desire to carry out participatory photographic projects with people at the frontline of climate change. To help their voices be heard, and to improve the impact of communication on climate change, and the engagement and action it inspires. Through this initiative, which is very much in its infancy, Chris is attempting to build an international community of documentary storytellers of all disciplines that provides support and training, as well as opportunities to collaborate with academics and other storytellers. Through this work the initiative aims to support the creation of more stories on climate change that engages more people and inspires meaningful action – more human stories, more stories local to the intended audience, and more solutions-focused stories.
To nurture and promote general documentary storytelling, and support those who would like to carry out projects of a documentary nature, Chris has also created an online platform – Documentary Storytellers – to showcase work, provide support and organise virtual events.