The strength of images is increasing exponentially. And new Media are often using them to show, surprise, shock, intrigue, catch the attention or even modify one’s point of view. In other words, any visual element has the inherent ability to “call into question and bring all the knowledge into a game” (Georges Didi-Huberman). But can a visual sequence communicate a clear message? Yes, It can, but under certain conditions. An image can arouse rapidly simultaneous emotions, inspiring several ideas influenced by multiple factors deriving from a specific social and cultural background (from a linguistic point of view “what the reader brings to the text”). In other words, our perception of an image is necessarily conditioned to a subjective interpretation. Creating the right context is then essential, notably through visual & text anchoring. As for environmental aspects, impacting on the general public is becoming the main target while tackling various given issues so that the storytelling through visual narration can be quite effective.
There are various graphic forms available beyond a pure set of photos. Infographics, Assembly of Images, Photovoice and Photo-Elicitation are just some new approaches to the ‘language of images’.
Not by chance, they have been developed in the last decades to encourage larger or smaller groups of citizens to debate on specific themes in order to increase eco-awareness or to lay the foundations for a more sustainable society. Aesthetic experience, in fact, helps human beings to become aware of their surrounding environment. Creative writing, artistic spirit and professional photography are perfectly mixed to grow human thought evolution and increase their critical sense of analysing and evaluating. A win-win combination to ‘hit the edge’ in new forms of exhibitions, increasingly itinerant and outdoors.
The photographic exhibit “Protecting UNESCO marine World Heritage through scientific research” which was shown on display on the gates of St-Martin’s Gardens in Monaco Ville in Springtime 2021, represents a perfect example of visual expression aimed at strengthening the awareness about the importance of Marine Sites inscribed on the World Heritage List. A series of twenty-one high-tech photos in logical succession developed a true visual narration through scenes and texts, also available remotely, following a successful outcome shown in Paris a few months before to celebrate the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021 – 2030).
Bringing international attention to scientific knowledge and conservation challenges in the world most iconic marine protected areas is one of the main focuses of this exhibition promoted by UNESCO, the Institut Océanographique, Monaco Explorations and the Gouvernement Princier. Thanks to a very special remoted operated robot vehicle, coral reef relived in all its splendour through vivid colours and wonderful creatures like green turtles, golden jellyfishes, different species of sharks, mantas and plenty of other little-known living beings.
A total immersion effect that plunges the viewer in a wonder of Nature that must be preserved for next generations. The beauty of lively biodiversity depicted on the occasion of research expeditions carried out by international and multidisciplinary scientific teams during several missions of Monaco Explorations connote the natural wealth that generates Life and guarantees the survival of our Planet. Hence, the importance to invest in UNESCO Marine Sites worldwide. Those examined are only four out of fifty, notably: Tubbataha Reef (Philippines), the Malpelo Wildlife Sanctuary (Colombia), the Southern Lagoon of the Chelbacheb Islands (Palau) and the New Caledonia Lagoons (France).
On the background of breath taking sea beds, researchers, skilled staff and competent stakeholders, like H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco and His Foundation (@FPA2), constantly analyse data and monitor the evolution of the underwater ecosystem making respectful contact with various species using high-tech tools.
Initiatives like this can really make their mark and drive to concrete actions to change our habits. Our small daily gestures in fact can make the difference besides the scientific research and innovations in technology. How? Let us think, before throwing a plastic bottle overboard or a plastic card into a manhole. The more we do the better is for those enchanting images of the coral reef before it fades into a colourless and lifeless desert that takes away our oxygen. ***
🎥 Official Video by © UNESCO
By Maurice Abbati
Springer International Publishing