According to data processed by Copernicus, Earth Observation component of the European Union's space programme, 2022 has been particularly affected by global warming effects throughout spring-summer, ranking as the fifth hottest year since measurements are effective (= start of industralisation worldwide). Europe and the Polar Regions were at the center of this anomalous heat wave. This implies not only the melting of the polar ice but the growing presence of exotic fishes, birds, animals and insects in polar territories as well as atmospheric phenomena not common to those latitudes. The role of professional photographers is increasingly relevant to register the state of health of polar regions. “Pôles, des Mondes Fragiles” (Poles, Fragiles Worlds) by Greg Lecoeur, professional photographer of ocean and wildlife originally from French Riviera, and the Oceanographic Institute (@oceanomonaco), aims at raising awareness on the importance of Polar Regions as natural balance of Planet Earth ecosystems. All this through a travelling photo exhibition set in a series of relevant French SNCF railway stations, notably: Cannes, Marseille Saint-Charles, Nice and Paris Gare de Lyon, together with the most popular Oceanographic Museum in Monaco. The initiative, kicked off on the 1st July 2023 and lasting until the 5th of November 2023 (as for railway stations) and until the 31st of August 2023 (as for Oceano Monaco), is seeking to convert every spectator in an Ocean Ambassador
The photo display develops to pay tribute to Prince Albert I of Monaco as pioneering oceanographer and wildlife photographer in iconic sites like the Lilliehöök glacier (Svalbard, Norway) depicted in early 20th century, still at the height of its ice concentration. No one could imagine that in the following century it could be jeopardised at twice the rate of other geographical areas by the increase in global temperatures.
Faced with the urgent need to act, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco and the Institut Océanographique are supporting an effective conservation programme "to make the Ocean known, loved and protected".
Sharing the beauty of wildlife is therefore the initial response to reflect on the vulnerability of Polar territories. From ice floes and polar bears in the north, to emperor penguins and vast frozen deserts in the south, Greg Lecoeur’s iconic photographs reveal the incredible biodiversity of the Poles. The XXL-format offers visitors to experience a total full immersion with the natural-environment visual storytelling. The main mission is to document, amaze and raise awareness about ocean preservation through an eco-responsible approach.
The parade of emblematic species depicted in Lecoeur's photo production surprises even the most distracted passerby for his extraordinary ability to attract the viewer by the empathic magnetism of the unpublished poses of the polar fauna. The synergy between him and the renowned marine scientific research center in Monaco is willing to join science and artistic creativity to hit the desire of knowledge.
The idea to set installations in major railway-station spaces comes from the belief that art and photography can push society to change through the coup de coeur effect touching various sensitivities, including of those who have never been particularly close to the natural world. This can lead to more eco-responsible behaviours starting from the use of means of transport to the other actions of our daily life. Thus, public spaces, widely used by urban commuters and tourists, become new agoras where to debate on most meaningful social and economic issues which cannot be separated from the very concept of Sustainability.
Greg Lecoeur, a passion for revealing nature photography.
Greg Lecoeur is a Nice-born professional photographer fond of ocean life. His photography constantly aims at conveying the audience significant messages to foster ocean protection. Based on his talent, he was awarded prestigious National Geographic Prizes, notably: ” Nature Photographer of the Year ” (2016) and ” Underwater Photographer of the Year ” (2020). ***
To know more about “Pôles, des Mondes Fragiles” photo exhibition please visit: Oceano Monaco
By Maurice Abbati
Springer International Publishing