Monacology returns to the Principality

Monacology 2015 is almost upon us and this year’s event features a stunning Antarctica exhibition by local photographer Ed Wright

From 15 to 19 June, the Monacology eco-village resumes its place on Quai Antoine 1er in a bid to educate the Riviera’s youth on the importance of environmental awareness

Founded by Stars ‘n’ Bars owner, Kate Powers, Monacology is a week-long series of workshops and events designed to raise awareness amongst children of the damage we are currently inflicting on our planet.

Amongst almost 30 fun and educational workshops, one that stands out is local photographer Ed Wright’s talk on the dramatic consequences of pollution in Antarctica.

Just two months ago, Wright found himself on the other side of the world, documenting, through a series of striking images, the drastic repercussions our actions can have on a continent far away in both sight and mind.

Wright in action in Antarctica

Led by Robert Swan, OBE, the first man in history to walk to both the North and South poles, and his 2041 team, the two and a half week expedition comprised 82 people all bidding to discover and promote renewable energy and sustainability to combat the effects of climate change in the region.

“The beauty of the place speaks for itself”, said Monaco-born Wright. “But unfortunately the remains of human passage on Deception Island show that we are not very good when discovering new places. We not only pillage the land and sea, but then leave it in a dismal state, certainly not as we found it.”

To prepare for the trip, Wright made sure his fitness levels were at their peak, knowing he would be carrying around 15kg of camera equipment every day.

Wright also ensured all his images were recorded with a GPS point so that future photographers returning to the area could get a sense of change from year to year.

“Most of our actions have huge repercussions on the continent of Antarctica and its fauna; repercussions that then have a boomerang effect back on us through rising sea levels, dilution of sea-salt levels and changing weather patterns, all which effect a gradual warming of the atmosphere.

“This is still an unspoilt part of our planet that NEEDS to be protected, since it is entirely dependent upon our actions for its survival. We must educate the youngsters of today, and therefore the decision makers of tomorrow.”

Every day this week, Wright will exhibit his work to around 1000 – 1200 students on the Stars ’n’ Bars  ‘Star Deck’, discussing exactly what he saw on the life-changing trip, and how he was affected on a personal level.

Other Monacology highlights include a ‘Wheel of Seasons’ workshop at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel where children can learn about seasonal produce and minimising waste, while the Jardin Exotique will display an urban mini-garden, teaching youngsters how to be water efficient.

Over at the Grimaldi Forum, the Fondation Albert II is running a workshop that will educate both young and old over the dangers of deforestation. Using a board game, small children will be able to follow animal tracks to understand the effects of disturbing ecosystems, while older learners can discover the impact of human activities on the natural environment through the study of glaciers.

Along with the many educational workshops on offer, the Monacology eco-village itself is well worth checking out. Powered by solar panels, the village offers only locally produced, organic food to participants, while all exhibitors are encouraged to take a responsible attitude to travel by using buses or electric bikes.

For the full schedule of workshops visit the official Monacology website or the eco-village on Port Hercule.



Ed Wright Images

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