Every year, La Gacilly, a picturesque village 60 km from Vannes and the Brittany coast, hosts the largest outdoor photography festival in France and this year’s event takes Japan and the ocean as its themes. Not only am I a keen photography enthusiast, I also love the sea and have always been fascinated by Japanese culture (after studying the language for three years), so when we found ourselves holidaying in the area this summer, there was no way I was going to miss out on the festival!
From June to September, La Gacilly is transformed into a vast open-air gallery, with huge images displayed on the sides of houses, along the cobbled streets and in the village’s garden maze. With the colourful Japanese carp streamers – or Koinobori – flying over the bridge and Mont Fuji as a backdrop, you could almost forget you are still in Brittany for a moment or two!
The images on show deal alternately with the peacefulness of the natural world and the stiflingly dense urban environment, both important themes in Japanese photography.
The festival is also strongly focused on environmental issues – the Fukushima catastrophe is naturally featured – while the second major theme, the ocean, is tackled from an overtly militant angle. Contemporary issues such as overfishing, rising sea levels, migrants at sea and oil spills are captured in some powerful, often disturbing images exhibited in La Gacilly, contrasting with the idyllic, leafy village setting.
A glimpse of our visit:
Mount Fuji (Yukio Ohyama) behind the Aff, the river that runs through La Gacilly.
My daughters, inspired by the early Meiji-period portraits from the collections of the University of Tokyo Museum and the University of Lyon.
Likewise, the (stunning) 'Sumo' series from Motoki gets the girls posing!
There is something of Magritte in the photography of Shoji Ueda. Images shot in the dunes of Tottori, his 'studio'.
One of my favourite series at La Gacilly - images from a French photographer living in Japan, Lucille Reyboz, captured in the 'onsen' or hot springs where the Japanese go to bathe.
Another very impressive collection - the large composite images by Sohei Bishino, made up of several thousand smaller photographs to create an almost abstract urban map.
Images from Pierre Gleizes, a plea to bring an end to overfishing. The striking images of the Chinese fishermen, pretty much stranded off the African coast on their battered old trawlers, strike a discordant note in the peaceful floral setting.
A photo taken by my seven-year-old: Daniel Beltra documents oil spills in some strangely beautiful but terrifying images.
Daesung Lee. The small island of Ghoramara in the Bay of Bengal is threatened by rising sea levels.
Guillaume Herbault, the islands in winter. The Breton islands of Houat, Hoëdic and Île aux Moines, once the holidaymakers have gone.
Paul Nicklen hopes to inspire initiatives to protect the polar species.
Paul Nicklen's young emperor hidden in the long grasses of La Gacilly!
With 31 exhibitions in all, it is difficult to show everything here, but other highlights include Kiiro
and his cosmos flowers, Miho Kajioka
for the post-Fukushima series ‘Where did the peacocks go?' and Shiho Fukada
’s pictures showing the hellish conditions of the – often very young – workers in the shipbreaking yards in Chittagong. Also worth a look is the projection of a piece of digital art - 'Le socle des choses' (or The base of things) - by Benjamin Deroche
and Jean-François Spricigo
, produced during their residence at Créac'h lighthouse - mesmerizing!
The Festival Photo de La Gacilly
runs until 30 September so you still have time to catch it if you are in the area!
The translator in me should also congratulate the organisers on the detailed notice boards explaining each series of images in French and in English! There is also a bilingual catalogue, available in the bookshop next to the tourist office. But if you are anything like me, beware the bookshop! It’s a trap (like all bookshops!) – with a great collection of photography books on sale, it’s almost impossible to come out with just the catalogue!
The "Friday update" is a bit late, coming only on Monday ... it's been a busy few days here in the translation studio, but that can only be a good thing! I also spent a glorious day in Paris for the launch of a fellow translator's new book, but I'll talk about that another time! Let's first take a look back over the past week ...
Projects of the Week
It's been a busy week, juggling deadlines for different projects, all dealing with different issues in different fields... but that's one of the best things about this job - the variety of it all! Alongside the long report about a hydroelectric development in West Africa (which I mentioned last week), this week I've also been translating a number of smaller files, all specialising is specific issues. First, there was a mergers/acquisitions glossary, then job descriptions in the cosmetics industry, a consumer survey on tourism, an analysis of the 'Procurement' function in the energy sector, and web content for another company in the energy business. A very varied and productive week, but a week all about deadlines and fast turnarounds!
Word of the Week
... what is expediting? I came across the term this week, used in English by one of my clients in their French-language documentation. I did some searching around and it turns out the English term is widely used in French, roughly translated as "suivi/relance
" where necessary.
Expediting is a new function in the vast domain of Purchasing/Procurement. It emerged a few years ago and is particularly applied in large-scale industrial projects. The function takes over once an order has been placed (after sourcing, negotiation, the purchase order, etc.), to track the order, from its signature up until delivery and sometimes until the related equipment has been installed. In the past, buyers tracked fulfilment of the order themselves but now, because of the wider scope (and therefore risks) of industrial projects, specialist 'expeditors' will often fulfil this role. In short, the expeditor's job is to make sure that goods of the required quality are delivered on time. They will provide feedback and raise the alert about anything likely to have a commercial or technical impact on order fulfilment. It's their job to organise the kick-off meeting then oversee things until completion of the project. It is now a key function in a world where lead times are ever shorter, where projects get bigger all the time and where delays or quality issues can cost vast amounts of money. The expeditor is thus something of a vital link in an accelerating supply chain!
Picture of the week
Reflection ... a peaceful moment captured at La Herse, near Bellême here in the le Perche. Because in a world where speed is of the essence, we sometimes just need to sit down, reflect and let time go by for a while...
It's been a hectic week with a number of projects on the go as well as the launch of the new Lexeme Traductions website, but here we are - it's Friday and it's time to take a look back over the past few days in what, I hope, will become a weekly update!
Projects of the Week
Over the past few weeks, I've been working on several different projects with a common theme - energy and the changes to come in the energy sector: grid management, integrating renewable energies into grids, balancing energy supply and demand, research and how to prepare for future trends. All of these projects dealt with the issues from a French and/or European point of view, but I've also been translating a report on the implementation of a major energy/interconnection project in four African countries. In fact, energy is a vast and complex subject area, but it's pretty fascinating and, above all, vital for everyone's future.
Word of the Week
Not actually a word this week, but three little letters ... CCS : Carbon Capture and Storage (or sequestration)
In French: CSC or captage et stockage du CO
First of all, from a linguistic point of view, note that the English term talks about carbon, while the French refer to CO² (something to remember when translating!
So, what is CCS? It is a technique designed to limit the impact of carbon dioxide on climate change and acidification of the environment. In short, CO2 is captured at the site of product (for example, in boiler exhaust gases or on the outlet side of gas turbines), then compressed and securely buried underground. Capturing CO2 this way is technically feasible today (even on vehicle exhaust pipes) but it is extremely costly and energy-intensive so reserved for large-scale, immobile sources of CO2. Moreover, experts and ecologists remain divided on the concept.
Picture of the Week
A dazzling moment captured on the road one morning this week (near Bretoncelles if you know the area!)... because I love that morning light that fills you with energy before a day's work.
So, after all that energy captured then spent, it's time to take a bit of time off, so have a great weekend and see you next Friday for the next update!
Hello and welcome to the brand new Lexeme Traductions website!
It's been a few weeks coming but now it's finally online and, I hope you'll agree, it was worth the wait!
It's been quite an adventure, a lot of work but a really enjoyable experience. I've had fun working on the copy but also taking my own photos to illustrate the website and reflect who I am and what I do here at Lexeme.
If you want to find out more, why not start at the About me
page ... and in case you were wondering - no, I'm not lucky enough to work out there in the woods everyday. I think it might be a bit cold and damp today actually, but it was certainly amusing taking all my stuff out there on a secret photo shoot on a gorgeous autumn morning!
However, most of the credit for the way the site looks has to go to Meg and the team at Websites for Translators
. Their resourcefulness, creative input and ability to take charge of all the technical stuff meant the whole process stayed entirely stress-free for me! There were regular, extremely professional yet very friendly emails and advice from Meg and I'd highly recommend her and the team.
While the result stays true to my original vision for the website, it goes far beyond my initial expectations.
I also have to thank Sandrine
who designed the original logo and took care of the portrait photography, and Jo
who keeps the site running on a day-to-day basis.
And not forgetting Dotty
, for providing a very valuable extra pair of eyes, or Eva
for the French translation. So it was an all-female team ... while I didn't deliberately choose to work with ladies only, I think we made a fantastic team and all worked brilliantly together, so well done and thank you, girls! I couldn't have done it without you!
A new blog post here next Friday - à bientôt