Seychelles: 'Submerged' - a Photo Exhibition Links the North Pole and Antarctica to Seychelles

Images from a Seychellois fine art photographer capture how climate change links the North Pole, Antartica and the Seychelles' Remire Island in a new photo exhibit.

The free exhibition is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until July 31 at the Alliance Française des Seychelles, in the central Mahe district of Mont Fleuri.

The aim of the exhibition "is to showcase three separate and isolated areas of the world which are actually interconnected through global warming, despite their different locations, temperatures, and environments," the photographer, Laurent Alis, said at the opening ceremony on Thursday.

Alis is a Seychellois landscape photographer who captures the essence of Seychelles' nature, beauty, and its fragility. He has travelled to both extremities of the globe to capture the effects of climate change.

To reach the North Pole, Alis headed to Longyearbyen, the northernmost town in the world which is located in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard with 2,100 citizens. He then proceeded to the ghost town of Piramiden.

In Antartica, on the southern end of the globe, Alis visited some islands, something he knows well from the Seychelles archipelago but was not expecting to see in such a cold and different place from home. He visited the Orne and Danco islands then crossed the Antarctic Circle to the Yalour and Half Moon islands.

As he photographed the landscapes, Alis said he was struck by how quickly the ice caps are melting away, with much of its life being submerged by the ocean.

He was even more surprised to find a similar trend much closer to home - on the island of Remire, just 245 km southwest of the Seychelles' capital, Victoria. Extreme coastal erosion is causing much of the island's beaches and trees to submerge.

At the opening ceremony, the Principal Secretary for Environment, Alain Decommarmond, stressed the importance of exhibitions like these which link environment and art.

"Showing through photos the effects of coastal erosion on our islands, combined with rising sea levels from the melting ice caps and icebergs, it truly drives a message home and makes us notice our changing landscapes," said de Comarmond.

The director for the Alliance Francaise, Emily Motu, said, "Through these images, we are struck by the changes that are happening in our world and in our immediate environment. These are places people do not always get access to, but this exhibition can help us understand the human impact on the environment."

The concept and organisation of the exhibition were developed by Marivel Media consultancy and sponsored by the Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB).

Alis started photography when he launched the 'Seychelles Guidebook' in 2008 -- a tourism book featuring various hotels and businesses to promote Seychelles in multiple trade fairs across Europe. The book includes many of his own landscape photos and the latest edition 2019-2020 -- was released online in May and hard copies last month.

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