Nonprofit group NonFiction Photo is opening ‘Gronings Gas 2.0’, a photo exhibition on the past, present and future of the Groningen gas field. The event launches at the Oude Pastorie in Loppersum, one of the villages most affected by drilling-induced earthquakes and tremors.
Thousands of homes have suffered damage in the northern Netherlands caused by hundreds of quakes in recent years. Loppersum is the place where some of the worst earthquake damage has been recorded over the years. Local photographers Jan Zeeman, Kees van de Veen, Anjo de Haan, Corné Sparidaens, and Joost Nuijten are highlighting the issues faced by their struggling communities and look with hope toward future solutions. The exposition aims to kick off a discussion about the future of mining activities in the region.
The exhibition curator, Andrea Hooymans, hopes the event will help build awareness of the effects of gas drilling on people’s lives. “You can’t act on what you don’t know. This exhibition might help to find solutions for the predicament the region, and the nation, is in right now. People in Groningen need to be heard,” she says.
The Loppersum event is part of the launching of EPIQ, an educational museum center. EPIQ aims to provide information on gas extraction, earthquakes and energy in the region.
The Groningen field has been a vital source of natural gas and income for the Netherlands since the 1960s. But earthquakes and tremors linked to gas extraction in the field have been a source of stress and misery for local residents, prompting the government to announce that the field would be shut down by the end of 2024.
The move comes as Europe is scrambling to replace Russian fossil fuels following Moscow’s conflict with Ukraine, and European governments are funding massive public support measures to help households and businesses with skyrocketing energy bills.
The gas is extracted by a joint venture between Shell and ExxonMobil, which has to foot the bill for the damage caused by quakes.
The Gronings Gas 2.0 exhibition will be open to the public free of charge from March 30 until July 1, 2023, every Thursday to Saturday, between 12.00 and 17.00. Find out more about the event at www.nonfictionphoto.nl.
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