Participants in the project have had an out-of-the-ordinary adventure in the mountains, totally immersed in Nature. They had just one objective : to capturer the diversity, the beauty, and also the fragility of Nature and our environment, as well as its rapid changes and the effect on the fauna, flora and people who live here, and who are totally dependent on it.
Back in 2017, Crans-Montana Tourism & Congress created «La Résidence», an incubator for talent in the heart of the Valais Alps, aiming to reveal the work of young photographers and videographers. Participants in the 2019/2020 project have had an extraordinary adventure in the mountains, guided by passionate mountain professionals, and totally immersed in Nature. They had just one objective: to capture not just the beauty of Nature, but also its fragility. La Résidence therefore enabled them to truly witness climate change and its impact on the Alpine environment and its activities.
Diverse viewpoints Exploring deep within the Plaine Morte glacier accompanied by speleologists, discovering the authenticity of a shepherd’s life, and an escapade to look for fauna in the high mountains, each different photographer was able to offer their own perspective on the environment which we are heavily dependent upon.
The Exhibition It was possible to visit the exhibition of the 2019-20 edition, "La Résidence: Eyes on the mountains", at the Fondation Opale, during March 2020. The public had the chance to meet the participating photographers, and follow a round table discussion on the theme of climate change and its impact on our mountain environment.
Visual Storyteller & Business Photographer
Mother, part-time blogger & photographer
Lush meadows, wild and rough forests, the smell of mud on the soles of our hiking shoes and wet tree bark, the sound of our breathing while we climbed the alp… Our experience with Claire, Damien and their children was unforgettable. Even though it was a while ago that we were invited by Crans-Montana Tourism to follow in the footsteps of a shepherd, this experience still nourishes our souls.Although we live in close contact with nature, and our passion is exploring places on and off the beaten track, being able to accompany Claire and Damien for two days in their life as shepherds was a remarkable experience. Their lives are so simple on one hand, yet very challenging in other ways. They are responsible for hundreds of sheep and goats, supported by their beautiful shepherd dogs, and far away from civilisation. We could feel their dedication to their herds, their love and bond for each other and their family, and their compassion for their animals. Damien is strong-willed, and so is Claire. We’d like to thank them for showing us a little glimpse of their daily work, and for reminding us what really counts in life.
3D graphic designer for an architectural firm & photographer «For this 3 day project, I roamed around the Plaine Morte region, at times accompanied by Pierre-Olivier Bagnoud, a local high-altitude mountain guide. I had many encounters with wildlife: in the first few hours, we were able to approach a herd of chamois with their young. We spent the night in the Luton hut, battered by the wind and light showers that continued until dawn on the second day. Later that day, I shared a precious moment with ibex bathing in the autumn colours of larch trees under a timid sun. The bad weather caught up with me, and the forecast for the following day was mixed. I decided to quickly scramble up to Bella Lui anyway, to be able to look out over the sea of fog. The bet paid off, the surrounding summits were tinted pink magenta, and time stood still. I then crept up on a hare. This immersion in a place meant I experienced the most intense feeling of gratitude: these wildlife encounters and this primary connection created with an animal as we approached it resulted in a feeling of amazing freedom. I hope to share these feelings with you through my photos.»
Masters student at St. Gall University & photographer «When I was contacted to take part in the Résidence project on the climate, I didn’t hesitate for a second: the Plaine Morte glacier would be my photographic subject. On one hand because glaciers are absolutely wonderful subjects to photograph, but on the other hand, because they enable us to clearly see the climate change that we are facing. I was able to accompany Frédéric Bétrisey and Hervé Krummenacher for two consecutive years – in October 2018 and September 2019. During this time lapse, the retreat of the glacier was impressive (about 2 metres). It was also fascinating to realise that a glacier is constantly moving, because even if major features on the glacier stay the same, many elements metamorphose from one year to the next. I hope that the photos taken on these two expeditions and exhibited here will increase awareness of retreating glaciers, but above all I hope they will make people want to go and see and enjoy glaciers while this is still possible. »
Video visual content creator "Having grown up in the Crans-Montana region, I’ve always been impressed by the vastness of Plaine Morte and this extraordinary place perched at 3,000m. When I was asked to take part in the Résidence, taking part in an expedition on the glacier with Pat Güller and the two speleologists, Fred and Hervé, I said yes to this great experience straight away. When I was younger, I remember going to Plaine-Morte for summer freestyle ski and snowboard camps, so I was curious to go back years later. During this exploration, I was immediately marked by the change and evolution of the glacier over the past few years. As a matter of fact, even the descent from the funitel to the glacier seemed long, and the glacier itself was extremely low. I was surprised by the quantity of water that was flowing on the glacier and engulfing it. I hadn’t imagined that it would be so hot up there, and the jacket I’d brought with me for the expedition would stay in my bag for the rest of the day…During the expedition, we visited places which were both incredible and very interesting visually. In particular, we visited the Vatseret cave, where we found a magnificent lake under the glacier. This glacier offers us splendid landscapes with fresh snow on the surface in winter, but in summer, the glacier loses its charm, and becomes very grey with each year that passes. This expedition proved to me that the glacier is disappearing more quickly than predicted..."
Age 20, art student at the Académie de Meuron, Neuchâtel «An altitude of over two thousand metres. I’ve been watching these mountains for quite a while now, sitting in the swaying grass. I surprise myself moving my body to the same rhythm. Me, who had imagined these high areas to be rough, dry and devoid of any vegetation. I’ve never liked noise. It’s an assault on the senses, it pierces them. However, the noise that accompanied me up high soothed me. It’s true that the mountain is noisy. A healthy, fresh, diverse, robust noise. It could almost become a melody. The power of the wind carried me more than it pushed me. It can be felt right into the ground. Plants dance to the rhythm of the gusts, young plants fight to grow, while still leaving enough place for their neighbours to lean over. Rocks sparkle. Everything is balanced according to the curved ground, full of crannies, knolls, hollows and slopes. I grab onto roots to climb up, and manmade paths become a luxury for the ankles. However the vegetation manages. Adapts. And we are too slow. »
Art student at the Académie de Meuron, Neuchâtel «For Dad Memories told in the evening, You dream, get lost Passionate, with the best intentions, you told me about your childhood, you told me about your experiences, So I did it for you, hoping I wouldn’t disappoint you, illustrating stories of a mountain dweller. »
From the first night you spend in Crans-Montana, you’ll receive your very own advantage card and enjoy lots of free activities. Cable cars, transport, swimming pool, mini golf, pedalos, … explore Crans-Montana and its mountains like never before.
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