In the run up to UNFCCC COP26 in Glasgow, Oxford-based portrait artist Fran Monks has used Zoom to photograph climate negotiators from around the world. She was curious to see who was behind these landmark agreements and negotiations and what it felt to be part of the process. An exhibition of a number of these portraits, supported by OCP, Photo Oxford 2021, the Blavatnik School of Government and the University of Oxford, opened at the Blavatnik in Oxford, UK on 2 November 2021.
Fran Monks is a portrait artist who specialises in celebrating the under-celebrated. Since the pandemic began in 2020, Monks has been making portraits via video chat.
With the support of Professor Benito Müller, who helped her connect with many of the negotiators, Monks talked to the climate negotiators she photographed from their homes, offices and even the roadside, about long hours, bad food, late nights, camaraderie and above all commitment to finding a workable solution to the climate crisis. Some of those pictured have attended most of the meetings since 1995, others have dropped in and out or joined the process more recently.
The exhibition runs at the Blavatnik throughout the duration of COP26. To see more portraits in the Climate Change Negotiators series, visit https://www.franmonks.com/climate-change-negotiators.