Exploring the heart of nature and the nature of human’s heart

As the International Year of Forests, as 2011 has been officially declared, is in full swing, the GoodPlanet environmental foundation presents the Moscow public with a large-scale multimedia display on wildlife and human life and their interaction.

­The project entitled 6 Billion Others became the dream come true for its creator – French photographer, environmentalist and the president of GoodPlanet, Yann Arthus-Bertrand. When he was working on his previous project – the world famous series of aerial photographs “Earth from above” – he was dreaming of talking to the people inhabiting the breathtaking areas he was shooting from the helicopter, and to unravel what separates and what unites them.

Yann Arthus-Bertrand / Altitude

­The result of his six-year project: 6,000 interviews of people from 83 countries, speaking over 50 different languages and answering 40 existential questions. An hour- long video, projected on the huge wall, as well as separate video films, displayed on a screen, in a bold yet intimate way, show faces of people frankly speaking about their life. What does love mean to you? What would you like to transfer to your children? Is there anything you can never forgive? The revelations from different people from different corners of the world, from a Brazilian fisherman to a Chinese shop-keeper, from a German artist to an Afghan farmer, cannot but touch the strings of your heart and question your own attitudes to life.

Colin Monteath / AGE Fotostock

­The second part of the project is presented by 70 bewitching photographs of forests. Forty photographers have shown the results of their photo observations in Of Forests and Men. The beautiful woodland sceneries appear not only as sites for living of various animals and plants, but also as sources of financial profit and subject of people’s inhuman attitude. The beauty of the wintering monarch butterflies is exposed as staggeringly detailed as is the ugliness of the garbage dump in the Dominican Republic.

So, what unites 6 billion others? On finishing the project, its author answers without hesitation – love. Love of life and love of nature, which, he says, is the same, is also a lesson one can learn from the display.

Of Forests and Men and 6 Billion Others will be on view at Moscow Multimedia Art Museum through to September 4.

Elena Monakhova, RT

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