Reporters Without Borders

Trees

© Michel Bouvet

Without a free press, no fight can be heard.” At a time when societies are divided by fake news, feeding social media that, in turn, locks people into information bubbles that merely confirm what they already believe, the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) motto sends a warning.

An ardent defender of journalistic freedom, RSF has always partnered press photographers and photography in general. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the RSF review, which showcases illustrators and the major names in still photography, the La Gacilly Photo Festival has joined forces with RSF, as part of its ongoing commitment, to publish a special issue devoted to trees, the photos of which will be on show in our village the summer.

100 photos from 100 leading photographers focused on the theme of the tree, whether as the main subject of the image, or as just one part of the scene, as a link with humans or animals, or the embodiment of an ill-treated biodiversity. 

Our Festival refuses the destruction of the living world, contributes to the renewal of plant life and acts to promote all living things by supporting the photographers who share our fight because they are, in their own way, the guardians of our Earth. Without their shots, their drive to let others see what they see, their sensibilities and their implacable vision of the society emerging around us, we would not be able to stand in wonder before images of the last remaining unspoilt ancient forests or the miracle of life itself. Neither would we know of the tragedies unfolding or of the earthworks which might destroy an entire ecosystem. 

In a mere quarter of a century, entire forests have vanished (1.2 million square kilometres wiped out, mainly to the benefit of agriculture): every year, 13 million hectares of forests are lost around the world, equivalent to four times the area of Belgium. The extraordinary images we present here come from some of the biggest names in photography: Juan Manuel Castro Prieto, Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Michael Nichols, Sebastião Salgado, Alain Keler, Ansel Adams and many others stand as ambassadors of the living world, their talent providing us with an opportunity to reflect on the role of trees in our lives.

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