Hell in Paradise

My previous blog article was about amazing tropical beautiful views you can find at Maldives and pictures you can take here. Some people call this place Heaven on earth, Paradise, sunny side of life and so on. Maldives it is one of the top honeymoon destinations. It is famous for crystal clean ocean water, blue sky, white sand, sunny warm weather. This is most common standard stereotype, mono view that can get typical tourists who is coming to visit country for 1-2 weeks (usually).

Better close your eyes

Being exploring Maldives for some time i found answers for questions I wanted to know, same time I found more questions , some skeletons in closet and catch skeletons in frame of my camera. Maybe this place is Paradise on earth, but like any other county people also living here. We as humanity get used to leave our marks in place we are living. Wherever our foots steps, traces is will be there. Maldives is not an exсeption. Some of this marks and traces makes me think that we are foreigners on our planet or we are some kind of parasites living inside our planet body and destroying our home from day to day.

Girl pointing far away standing at the top of trash mountain at garbage dump

In this article I would like to expose slip part of Maldives, running sore, reflection of one of inside facet of our human nature , humanity destroying origin, parasite trace – Thilafushi island. It is an industrial island located not far from Male (capital of Maldives) where you can get easily from jetty in Male by slow old style boat. One way ticket costs 11 rufias ( less than 1 dollar), if somehow destiny will bring you at that place do not forget to take money on ticket for back way and check boat timing, not very pleasant place to stay overnight there. Most of the island territory occupied with some industries, like boat building and repairing, but one big piece of it is taken for other purpose - garbage utilization.

Girl taking care of plant on garbage dump

First time I visited island around 1 year ago and only with my mobile phone, intelligence trip, as result full phone memory with hundreds of pictures, clicked everything I saw in my way. After that trip I got idea to make some pictures that will be contrasting among average pictures of Maldives views. It passed around year before my project and small dream become true, my New Year’s gift from Santa.

Heaven or hell

Just to go there and to take pictures it seems very simple. But I wanted to include in that apocalyptical location humans, because humans is the reason and source of things like this happens. Actually planned to make photoshoot with couple, but could not find it. Very lucky my friends helped me to make this photoshoot . If you never being in excursion at hell, I think that place is very close. Pillars of smoke around, fire, burning sun, smell like in cheap bar’s toilet and legions of buzzing flies who thinks you are a new portion of food for them. Some areas covered with smoke and you cannot see anything behind that walls, if you go inside smoke cloud cannot breath and eyes going out, it is open space without alive trees, so no shadow….sun protection cream can be very useful, feeling twice hotter than on tropical beach. You will ask me how managed to bring 2 beautiful girls to be my models there on photoshoot? It is sound like craziness, but I did. Went to party like their bodyguard, treat them with pizza, and went for 3 hours shopping to help them choose dresses for next photoshoot (wich I promised to make after). Be creative and you can find models for anything, here is example.

Two girls climbing among mountains of trash

Utilization process. During photoshoot one guy in protection mask and suit was following us around the island, one said we giving bad images to the country and one said that there is dangerous snakes in ocean here so this circumstances make me keep my mouth shut, I did not risk to ask anyone about how utilization works there, but it was enough to observe it. Garbage delivers by boat to the island, than trucks brings it to trash area, load off, excavator make bunches from trash and than workers just fire it ups on ground. That is all. No any processing plant. I remember my 3 orientation days in 1 of resorts. It was theme about ecology at Maldives, as i remember most of organic trash utilized just in ocean, some others also just in ocean and some part goes to Thilafushi. Do not remember lector numbers, but like it was mentioned if in next years utilization problems will not be sloved, all Maldives will become like Thilafushi island, because temps of producing garbage at many times faster than destroying garbage, some turtles beaches not exist anymore, some kinds of rear fish disappeared. I know that garbage utilization it is high profit business and it is beautiful country, it is still mystery for me why this problems still exist, seems like no one wants to save this county from disaster and no one wants to earn big capital. Hopefully someone will notice my pictures and will pay attention to this problem, will find the way to figure it out. Guys lets remember it is our planet it is out home, lets do not be parasites here, one day some doctor can come and pull out us from here or kill us all with some pills))) We are thinking about how to produce more plastic bags or bottles, chocolate covers and do not think about we cannot produce one more planet to live on, peace….

Girl sitting near lake covered with plastic bottles

Photo credits: Lexandr Lexandrovich.
Lexandr Lexandrovich
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  • Alexandr822
  • Chernigov, Ukraine

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January 29, 2016

Wonderful work! Congratulations! I never could imagine that a place like Maldives could have this big problem.


January 26, 2016

Very sad. This is a major impact of tourism in areas where there is no proper way to get rid of their garbage. Thanks for sharing these!


January 25, 2016

Did you pick the beauty of nature disfigured, it seems almost unreal! Congratulations for the construction, the effect of this report, however, is that they give me sadness!


January 18, 2016

Important issue and great blog!
Well done!


January 15, 2016

You have done excellent job! These photos are really special and different....! Thanks for sharing!


January 14, 2016

Thank you for this - another unacceptable face of tourism, and the way we live in a throwaway society. All the crap we produce has to go somewhere, and most people would ignore this. Here in the UK we have recently had a new law on carrier bags, so shops have to charge for them. In just a few months one supermarket chain has saved 1.5 million pounds - just think how many carrier bags that is!
Well done Alexandr, I hope your photos get the attention they deserve.


January 14, 2016

Just wow.... Absolutely unexpected aspect of the Maldives.... In fact, people don't seriously think what they leave after them... Sad, really sad...


January 13, 2016

Extraordinary story and images.

Wont do tourism any good though will it ? David


January 13, 2016

well done for going behind the commercially driven facade of most places now on earth.
Just scratch the surface of most destinations and you will see the ugly footprint of man.


January 13, 2016

It is important to protect environment , any time and everybody.


January 13, 2016

Thanks for sharing🍻


January 13, 2016

What an incredible journey. You spreads a lot of good messages to the world by doing this. Best wishes for you..


January 13, 2016

Don't forget that only two things drive mankind, need and greed. We live for today and the hell with tomorrow. Let our kids deal with the problem is the mantra. We are the only species in millions of years that is managing to "quickly" destroy our home!


January 13, 2016

Hel080808, i saw your picture with woman few days ago somewhere here at Dreamstime. Yeah, also good example of problems our society facing. I think it is good that kind of pictures appearing at web. Solving problem starts from realizing that problem exists. More people will know about it more chances that someone who have instruments, influence and wish to fix it will know about it. Long way begins from one step, let's do what we photographers can do, to show...


January 13, 2016

You did a very good job and I hope many people will look at your photos! For me it's unbelievable!
But it is no isolated case. I traveled in several countries of Africa and I get very sad to see poor people working in poisonous garbage. And you can see on my images a young woman with baby in sling. So in our culture young parents do all the best for their kids (sometimes too much) and these children are poor and live in unhealthy environment too.


I'm sorry, but I can't paste the photos so that they could be seen and noticed. So if you want to see them you must insert their numbers for search.


January 13, 2016

Unbelievable and very sad that we cannot live without littering and in harmony with nature :( Thanks for that album. It is didactic.


January 12, 2016

Wow! Thank you for sharing!