More than any other photographic subject, energy is the most decisive – and divisive – factor in the climate change debate. The energy sector is the single largest source of climate-changing emissions. According to the IEA, global energy consumption will double by 2040. The UN's IPCC suggests that renewable energy could supply 80% of global demand by mid-century IF there were political will.
For me, the question is not “if” we will transition away from fossil fuels, but “when”. In Quebec, that transition has already started: Quebec is leading the rest of Canada with a massive construction boom of renewable energy – notably wind – in the context of coastal erosion, shorter winters, unpredictable weather. Like GEO magazine’s Peter-Matthias Gaede, I am convinced that people will turn away from environmental issues if presented only with disasters/problems. I have therefore turned my camera toward a positive side of the energy sector: the rapid expansion of renewable energy in the context of climate change in North America, with a focus on the wo/men who are building our green energy future.
Currently, I am the only photographer in Quebec dedicated to documenting the rapid development of wind energy in the context of climate change.
I have recently transitioned into video production, and am currently the Director of Photography of a documentary film about climate change in eastern Quebec: Living on the Edge.
In 2013, I won the Grand Prize in an international photo competition for Global Wind Day, sponsored by the International Wind Energy Association (IWEA).
In 2014, I have been invited as the Keynote Speaker for a two-day conference in Melbourne, Australia on Green Cities.
In my spare time, I am an organic garlic farmer in rural Quebec.
Human trafficking in Quebec:
Living on the Edge funding pitch:
After working in Africa on HIV prevention for almost 20 years in several conflict/post-conflict countries (Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Niger), I returned to Québec in 2007 to dedicate the second half of my life to an even greater cause: climate change.
Here in eastern Quebec, along the banks of the Saint Lawrence River, the locals talk about climate change as a fait accompli: increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, little-to-no sea ice, significantly less snow cover, earlier springs, longer growing seasons (which no one is complaining about), coastal flooding, storm surges and erosion. After moving to this rural region in 2008, I have been looking for different ways to document climate change beyond the typical natural or man-made disaster photos.
This has become my new mantra: find a different way of raising awareness about climate change, since the status quo is just not working. A priority for me is to use photography to facilitate the transition to a clean energy economy, i.e., to wean ourselves from fossil fuels. Hence my current focus on the rapid development of renewable energy throughout North America, part of a long-term personal project that I hope will inject some positive energy into the often bleak debate about climate change.
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670, Rang 4 Ouest
Saint-Valerien-de-Rimouski, Quebec G0L4E0