Creative Associates: Realising land management change in East Africa

Over the past 10 years, the Tanzanian Maasai landscape has witnessed a dramatic increase in soil erosion with almost total destruction of the soil resource in many areas used for grazing of livestock. 

Soil erosion impacts communities at local and global levels. The interdisciplinary ‘Jali Ardhi’ research programme (led by the University of Plymouth in collaboration with The Nelson Mandela African Institution for Science and Technology, University of Exeter, Schumacher College and the International Water Management Institute) seeks to deliver novel insights to support solutions to this global challenge.

Professor Will Blake from the University of Plymouth and the project’s creative associate, Carey Marks, developed photographic documentation of the research project in action, a whiteboard animation and a soil erosion game to help the Maasai community understand the process of soil erosion.

<p>Massai portraits - creative associates. Credit: Carey Marks<br></p>
Carey has photographed the Maasai stakeholders who have been involved in the Jali Ardhi project. It is their landscape that is rapidly disappearing, and is it them who will benefit from the research.
<p>

Massai portraits - creative associates. Credit: Carey Marks

<br></p>
<p>

Massai portraits - creative associates. Credit: Carey Marks

<br></p>
<p>

Massai portraits. Credit: Carey Marks

<br></p>
<p>Massai portraits. Credit: Carey Marks</p>
<p>Soil errosion whiteboard animation. Credit: Carey Marks</p>
The whiteboard animation, or mind map animation, was created to explain the process of soil erosion, and its effects on communities, particularly food security. Watch the animation
<p>

Soil errosion whiteboard animation. Credit: Carey Marks<br></p>
<p>

Soil errosion whiteboard animation. Credit: Carey Marks

<br></p>
<p>Workshop taking place with the local community on the impact of soil erosion. Credit: Carey Marks</p>
For the soil erosion game, the team created a series of icons (around the size of a CD) on heavy Perspex disks. They also created an A0 sized material background for the game, designed to represent the typical African landscape.
<p>

Workshop taking place with the local community on the impact of soil erosion. Credit: Carey Marks<br></p>
<p>

Workshop taking place with the local community on the impact of soil erosion. Credit: Carey Marks

<br></p>
<p>

Workshop taking place with the local community on the impact of soil erosion. Credit: Carey Marks

<br></p>
<p>Workshop with the local community showing the impacts of soil erosion</p>

Carey Marks Photography

Carey Marks is a Portrait, Research and Documentary photographer who has a passionate interest in portraits and photo-journalism: particularly “communities and people in context”. He is also an established Art Director and Graphic Designer, with over twenty years experience in London and the US.

His recent work for the University of Plymouth's Jali Ardhi, or ‘care for the land’ project, has been featured in the Guardian, and he has developed branding for Vivienne Westwood’s “MAN”, designed invitations for her Majesty the Queen, and designed various campaigns for organisations such as the National Portrait Gallery, National Gallery, Channel 4 Sitcom Comedy Festival and the London Underground.

Read more about Carey on his website

Creative Associates 2018

The Sustainable Earth Institute's Creative Associates projects aim to explore novel and innovative ways of communicating research and develop a portfolio of case studies of the different creative approaches possible

Find out more about the initiatives

Image: Carey Marks/Creative Associates