13 images"Earth is the probable lost paradise." Federico Garcia Lorca Escaped Earth is a hymn to Mother Nature, its beauty, its majesty, its power, its magic, its strangeness ... The Earth is full of treasures. She always carries us, offers us her richness and in return suffers from the acts of our species. In this photographic tribute the human being is absent or appears only by some traces.
28 imagesThe Urak Lawoi (means People of the Sea) are from Banda Aceh, northern Sumatra, Indonesia. Five centuries ago, from Malaysia, they arrived in Koh Lanta, the famous island, southwestern Thailand. Their legend tells that God sent an emissary to convert them to Islam. They refused and suffered the curse. Some went into the jungle and became wild, monkeys and squirrels, others became nomads of the sea, condemned to flee on boats to the north by the Strait of Malacca, guided by the fish «Kra O» with which they communicate through speech. They were surprised by a big storm. It was then that the white bird «Bulong Pute» landed on the mast. The storm stopped and Koh Lanta appeared. They settled on this island they named «Pulao Satak» which means «Long beaches Island». Thus Koh Lanta, at that time deserted, became Urak Lawoi’s island, and means to them «mother earth». Although over the years, this people has dispersed and installed on a dozen thai islands of the Andaman Sea : Koh Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Jam, Koh Lipe, Koh Bulon, Koh Langkawi, Koh Rawi, Koh Adang. Today, the Urak Lawoi population of the Andaman Sea is estimated about 5000 peoples of which one third live in Koh Lanta. They are thai citizens and officially registered as Buddhist, the Urak Lawoi are in reality deeply animistic. They worship their ancestors, believe in the forces of nature and spirits they regard as gods. The most important are the god of death who watches over the ancestors above the cemetery, and the god of the sea, their main universe. For them, natural phenomena and the spiritual world are closely linked. In animist ceremonies, men and women sing and dance to the sound of percussion and violin to implore the spirits. The Urak Lawoi are incredible navigators, fishermen and divers. The sharing ethic is very strong, because according to their philosophy, natural resources do not belong to individuals but to the community. Their mode of fishing based on traditional subsistence does not exhaust the resources and their technique has no negative impact on the natural environment. In the middle of the 80s, in its strategy to develop tourism, Thailand has established the National Marine Parks. Then, new laws forced them to abandon their semi-nomadic life associated with fishing. With the rise of mass tourism, the Urak Lawoi leaved also their traditional housing on the beach for inland permanent houses, on the other side of the main road. Today, they still practice the traditional fishing around the islands, but their movements last no more than two days. Some islands, reserved for tourists, are even prohibited. From a subsistence fishery, they switched to a commercial fishery, despite the catches are decreasing year by year because of pollution due to tourism, global warming and trawlers which enter illegally in the coastal areas. Those scrape the seabed, destroying number of traps and, worse, coral reefs, ecosystem and natural resources.
32 imagesA photographic road trip in five countries of West Africa. Of these numerous meetings, remains the feeling to have touched the essence of the human being carried by very strong cultural roots and also by values of courage, dignity, solidarity.