I will be as strong as a Moai

Camille Mazier

2017 - 2019

Vanuatu; Chile

After I lost my father I needed to walk in his footsteps in the South Pacific, in Vanuatu where he was a teacher early in his career. This final journey with my father helped me to go back to life by letting go of him completely.

The culture there immersed me in a daily life where we live in symbiosis with nature so much so that it overflows. A ‘back to basics’ on several levels. Thanks to his stories and photographs I was able to trace many of his former students who told me about him and his desire to integrate fully into their community.

I combine his archives with my own photographs and it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the two periods. These timeless images become witnesses to the preservation of the environment of these people and their culture.

I went to the crater at the top of Yasur volcano in Tanna, where I ‘poured’ yellow Gingko leaves to symbolize my father’s ashes: a long time ago, he wanted us to scatter his ashes in this volcano. Realizing it would be a difficult task to accomplish, he then asked us to spread them in our garden in France. So we planted a gingko tree in this spot. In this way, I was able to share something from my home with these people and their environment.

I then crossed the Pacific Ocean to confront the Moai, these large statues on Easter Island. I ‘asked them for accountability' as before his cancer took him away, my father messaged me to say ‘I will be as strong as a Moai’.

{{ readMoreButton }}

  • My father, in front of the Yasut, Tanna, 1977

  • Back to life

  • Jedrian, Tanna, 2018

  • Nimanipen, Tanna, 2018

  • Yasur, Tanna, 2017

  • Footsteps

  • Archive, my father's classroom 1978

  • Small volcano

  • Pacific - Love of peace

  • Timeless scene

  • Pacific - Love of peace

  • New Year's Eve, 2018

  • Timeless scene

  • Motu, Easter Island, 2018

  • Archive, Wild Horses wave, Easter Island, 1979

  • Ginkgo leaf, Yasur, 2017

  • Volcano wave, Tanna, 2017

  • Wave, Easter Island, 2018

  • Found peace, Yasur, 2017

  • Archive, Moai, Easter Island, 1979