Claudia Leisinger - Photography

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News in March 2015

By Claudia Leisinger | April 17, 2015
Posted in: Story Multimedia Commission BMW Foundation Earth Security Group 2015 newsletter news update on work March 2015 Brazil Of Flying Rivers & Flooded Lands

March 2015 was an unbelievably exciting time I went to Brazil, to the Amazon to shoot my latest project. 

"Of Flying Rivers & Flooded Lands: Damming the Amazon" 

I visited Munduruku Indians living alongside the mighty Tapajós River in the Amazonian forest, who are actively fighting a massive hydro-electricity dam planned by the Brazilian government. Once built, the São Luiz do Tapajós dam will flood vast areas of their land, putting existing villages under water, disrupting the river flow and with it the intricate balance of ecosystems. 

It is not only the Munduruku’s traditional way of life that is threatened, but also river dweller communities like Pimental. This picturesque village with its four churches, eight small stores, a well functioning school and roughly 300 inhabitants, would be completely flooded by the São Luiz do Tapajós dam.

But the impact of the dam will be felt long before it is actually completed. A construction project of this scale in an area with no existing infrastructure, as is the case here, will result in irreversible damage to the natural environment. Forest will make way for roads, housing for workers, shops, restaurants, brothels and more. 

At the Belo Monte dam on the neighbouring Xingu river, 20,000 labourers have migrated into the area to work around the clock. The Munduruku have supported the Xingu indigenous communities in their fight against the Belo Monte dam and witnessed the disastrous consequences first hand. They are now fighting not to suffer the same fate.

In the next months I will create a multimedia project using the stills, video and audio I shot and collected during my stay in Alter do Chao, Santarem, Itaituba, Praia do Mangue, Pimental and Sawre Muybu. 

I was also thrilled to shoot photos and video for BMW Foundation at their 3rd Global Table on Resources and Security in Brazil. 

This 3rd table focused on formulating project ideas to enhance urban quality of life. Read about it in more depth on their website.

You can see a first selection of my photos on their flickr account 

I have also updated my portrait section on my website, please have a look and let me know what you think.

You can follow the development of my new project "Of Flying Rivers & Flooded Lands" here on my blog, via Twitter @CLeisinger, via Facebook  and on my Instagram feed.


Boto dolphins at Santarem harbour.

Girl in traditional Munduruku head dress in Sawre Muybu.

Between digging up potatoes for dinner, in Sawre Muybu.

Jumping into the Tapajos river in Pimental.

Aline Karo Munduruku in Praia do Mangue.

1000 newly built council houses near Santarem ready for the communities displaced by mega construction projects like the São Luiz do Tapajós dam.

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2 Global Table on "Limited Resources - Opportunities without Borders"

By Claudia Leisinger | December 08, 2014
Posted in: Italy Commission NGO 2014 BMW Foundation Earth Security Group

An excerpt taken from the the BMW Foundation website to explain their way of working and intention:

"The BMW Foundation Global Table engages influencers from Europe, the United States, and the emerging powers in a strategic dialogue across sectors and generations. We want to raise awareness for the importance of shared leadership in addressing global challenges. Therefore, we invite decision-makers from politics, business and civil society to enlist in a frank and forward-looking dialogue outside existing international frameworks"

This link will lead you to the selection of photos from the 2nd Global Table in Italy, the BMW Foundation have published on their Flickr page. (or try


And this is one of my favourite shots. Lina Li bundling the warmth of the last rays of sunshine.

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2 Global Table on Limited Resources

By Claudia Leisinger | November 10, 2014
Posted in: Italy Commission NGO 2014 BMW Foundation Earth Security Group

I spent four days photographing the 2 Global Table on "Limited Resources - Opportunities without Borders" led by the BMW Foundation and the Earth Security Group in the amazingly beautiful Villa Vigoni in Menaggio, Italy.

While working through all the files I came across this photo taken at dusk near the Villa Vigoni. I am sure this will not be featured in any edit, so I am showing it here. 

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1st Global Table "Limited Resources - Opportunities without Borders"

By Claudia Leisinger | October 24, 2014
Posted in: Landscape Commission 2014 BMW Foundation Earth Security Group China Hangzhou

In July 2014, I was invited to photograph the 1st Global Table on "Limited Resources -Opportunities without Borders" organised by the BMW Foundation in Berlin

"The Global Tables on Resource Security in cooperation with the Earth Security Group facilitate a forward-looking dialogue between Europe and the new global players and raise awareness of the importance of shared leadership and collaboration in a multi-polar world based on joint responsibility. Each Global Table takes place in an unconventional setting with no more than 30 participants from around the world, striking a balance between high-level representation and sector diversity to explore new areas of convergence."

It was a great experience and I am very much looking forward to the 2nd Global Table next week in Italy.

Here you can read their portrait of me, but I suggest you look through their many fascinating interviews listed on their site.

Here is just a very short selection of my photos taken in China - more will be soon on my website.

The Naked Retreat

Alejandro Litovski Founder and CEO of Earth Security Group

Dr. Micheal Schaefer, Chairman of the Board of Directors at BMW Foundation.

First Global Round Table in Hanghzou

Global Round Table in the evening

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