words, photo, and art by bethany n. bella

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1 | Introduction

I began this project with a singular intention: to display the interconnectedness between humans and the natural world in one, overlapping image. I never imagined the passion or joy I would obtain from creating these colorful, whimsical portraits in and within my environment.

The title PERMEABLE comes from a recently cemented understanding, derived from an ecofeminism class at Ohio University. This understanding recognizes that every single human being’s body is part-and-parcel with the surrounding landscape of chemicals and carbon, animals and amoebas. No one of us is immune to this interplay. None of us is powerful or protected enough to withstand this onslaught of interaction at play, every single day in our modern world. 

I have always been a storyteller. I write poetry, I write essays. I sometimes still write for journalistic and academic purposes. But my favorite medium for storytelling is the visual, especially through the use of digital photography and video. This photographic essay is an attempt to showcase my ever-expanding worldview of one-ness in the universe. It’s philosophical, it’s factual, but above all, it’s personal. 

By sharing these images, all of which are original compositions unless otherwise noted, I hope I can inspire you to respect the environment around you–not just in the Rocky Mountains or the seven seas or the glaciers so far away from most of our everyday lives. In our world of increasing climate change, we cannot afford to exploit our resources anymore. We must work in tandem to cultivate, to revive and restore this precious, borrowed gift we have been given for a lifetime to share. 

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