Environment PHOTO ESSAYS

photography by matthieu alexandre


Presentation of a series of photo essays produced between 2000 and today.

A Vezo fisherman just caught a shark

The nomads of the sea

Morombe, Madagascar (2000)

My background as an ethnologist led me to focus on people who live from subsistence activities (hunting and fishing). The Vezo are a people of Madagascar who once occupied the entire west coast of the big island and live mainly from fishing. The Vezo are one of the last nomadic ethnic groups in the country. Fishermen, they leave far from their village. A fishery opposed to industrial fishing.

Bivouac in the dunes, using the square sail of their canoe as a tent canvas
Already in 2003, the melting sea ice was alarming

North West Passage

Cambridge Bay & Gjoa Haven, Nunavut, Canada arctic (2003)

On assignement for the French weekly magazine Le Figaro, I step onboard the French polar sailboat Vagabond for part of the crossing of the famous Northwest Passage. Eric Brossier, the captain left with two years to live to deal with a possible wintering stuck in the ice. However, the boat will make the crossing in a few weeks, the ice are not there, it is already a sad observation regarding global warming.

The polar sailboat Vagabond (left) circumnavigated in record time between 2001 and 2003.
Figaro magazine (September, 2003)
Roads and water networks have been destroyed

Gujarat Earthquake Aftermaths

Bhuj, Gujarat, India (2004)

The 2001 Gujarat earthquake, also known as the Bhuj earthquake, occurred on 26 January, India's. The epicentre was about 9 km south-southwest of the village of Chobari in BhachauTaluka of Kutch District of Gujarat, India. The intraplate earthquake reached 7.7 on the moment magnitude scale. The earthquake killed between 13,805 and 20,023 people, injured another 167,000 and destroyed nearly 340,000 buildings.

Lack of clean water forces women to walk for miles and pushes others to migrate.
Pollution of the lake water causes the quantity of fish to drop.

Lack of water in Benin

Nokoue, Benin (2007)

Entirely built on Lake Nokoué, the city of Ganvié is a lakeside village located 25 km from Cotonou, the capital of Benin. The so-called African Venice is inhabited by a people of the Tofinus ethnic group, translated as the men of the water. With a population that is growing more and more, a lack of professional prospects and sometimes difficult living conditions, the city of Ganvié is under several threats. While the floods risk the collapse of houses on stilts, the abundance of fishing and the presence of pollutants weaken the ecosystem of the lake. Not to mention the low quantity of drinking water and the few electrical installations.

The water level in the lake has become critical.
The team of NGO on the site of the forest project

A forest in the Sahel

Kerboubou, Niger (2007)

Project to replant a forest in Kerboubou, near Agadez. Planted in the 1970s, the Dabaga forest, which extended over an area of 1050 ha in 1954, in 2007 only had 18.4 ha.

forest half-moons
Tourists help teams search for survivors

Gorkha Earthquake aftermaths

Kathmandu & Kodari, Nepal (2015)

Nepal earthquake of 2015, also called Gorkha earthquake, severe earthquake that struck near the city of Kathmandu in central Nepal on April 25, 2015. About 9,000 people were killed, many thousands more were injured, and more than 600,000 structures in Kathmandu and other nearby towns were either damaged or destroyed.

9,000 people are missing. Not all of them were found and could not have a funeral.

Drought in South Sudan

Juba, South Sudan (2017)

Up to 5.5 million South Sudanese are projected to be going hungry. The number of people in need is likely to increase because of the catastrophic level of destruction caused by floods following a drought that hammered parts of the country.

Displaced people in camps lack water and firewood
Los Angeles Times (March 24, 2017)
Since the creation of the unit, the number of rhino killed has fallen by 70%

Rhino anti-poaching unit

Balule, South Africa (2018)

The Black Mambas Anti-Poaching Unit was founded in 2013 by Transfrontier Africa NPC to protect the Olifants West Region of Balule Nature Reserve. Black Mambas is the first female anti poaching unit in South Africa.Within the first year of operation the Black Mambas were invited to expand into other regions and now protect all boundaries of the 62,000ha Balule Nature Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger Area in South Africa.

The Black Mambas patrol from morning to night


all photographs copyrighted © Matthieu Alexandre

any reproduction, even partial, is prohibited without the written permission of the author