A Troubled Paradise

A Troubled Paradise

This gorgeous tourist destination faces threats from poverty, drug addiction and impending sea-level rise.

The Maldives is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean made up of 1,200 small islands. The country’s incredible natural beauty makes it an ultimate tourist destination for the rich and famous.

But beneath the outsiders’ view of the islands lies a more troubled reality. Thirty years of brutal dictatorship, poverty, high levels of heroin addiction among young people and a looming environmental disaster from sea-level rise threaten the country’s very existence.

This audio slideshow produced by Charlie Mahoney and the Bombay Flying Club examines the range of challenges facing this island nation. The story skillfully combines photographs, narration and natural sound.

Hope may lie with new, democratically-elected president Mohamed Nasheed, whose first course of action is to develop solar, wave and wind energy in hopes of making his country carbon neutral. “If you can’t save the Maldives,” he says, “you can’t save the rest of the world.”

This story was first published by Burn Magazine and won 1st place in the Team Audio Slideshow category in the March 2010 NPPA Monthly Multimedia Contest. Mahoney is a photojournalist and multimedia journalist currently based in Barcelona, Spain.

CHANNEL: Bombay Flying Club

Length: 5:28

By Charlie Mahoney
Co-Produced by Charlie Mahoney and the Bombay Flying Club


Charlie Mahoney’s Websites: