So far the feedback on the story from Tuvaluans has been positive. It is clear that an alternative, more realistic, representation of what life is actually like in Tuvalu is much needed. I believe that there are many more places in the world that are visually misrepresented due to the mainstream media's need to exaggerate various situations for the sake of sensationalism.
Tuvalu does face serious climate issues, but we must consider: How will years of sustained misrepresentation of the Tuvaluan people as climate change victims rather than survivors affect the Tuvaluan culture and identity in the future?
It is my hope that more photographers and photojournalists will carefully consider the knock-on effects of sensationalised imagery in their own professional practice.
Re: Tuvalu as Tuvaluans want you to see it
From above, Fongafale—Tuvalu’s largest island—snakes across the Pacific, a surprise sight in a great expanse of blue. It measures 12km long and at its narrowest point you can walk from one side to the other in 10 paces.