“Stories from the Sea”, 2016 | Camille Michel

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Camille is a french photographer who studied Arts at Paris 8 University and Photography at the Arles National School of Photography. Her photography are poetic documentaries.

Her work addresses the relationships between human and the environment, and their respective impacts, for societies in close proximity to nature. The influence of nature, sometimes hostile, on the way of life of men and the human damage on the environment. What relationships do man and nature have in the 21st Century? What survives today of past ways of life? What is the impact of industrialisation? She uses photography to document the daily life of populations and communities in times of great upheaval.

She has been represented by the Hans Lucas Studio since 2015. She is a member of the photographic observatory of the poles.

We asked Camille about her series "Stories from the Sea".

In June 2016, I left Paris to become a sailor. I embarked on a small expedition vessel between Quebec, Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador, Nunavut and Greenland. The trip started at Riviere-au-Renard, in the Gaspé Peninsula. We proceeded to drop anchor in multiple places, of which most were only accessible by boat or helicopter. Nature is still omnipresent there. For four months we sailed to discover islands and their populations. These images document the second part of the expedition which took place in Greenland.

Kalaallit Nunaat, ‘the Land of the Greenlanders’ is an immense island of 57,000 inhabitants, 90% of it covered by the ice flow. Greenland is famous for its wilderness, the icebergs, tradition and cultural diversity. All of this is true but contrary to common beliefs, the Greenlandic society has transformed and modernised in the last few decades and is opening up to the western world.

All along the west coast of Greenland, modernity and traditions co-exist in very different landscapes. In the big cities, specifically in the South, life is very modern - housing is constantly in development, tourism is booming and supermarkets and new retailers are appearing day after day. In Northern villages and more isolated communities, the lifestyle is the opposite and more traditional. Hunting and fishing are an essential way of life for the inhabitants. This project took place from June - October 2016 with the support of the expedition boat Le Manguier. I wanted to photograph life at sea and convey the highs and lows of being a sailor.

To see more of Camille's work, visit www.camillem.net

All images and text © Camille Michel