Solastalgia

  • Dates
    2023 - Ongoing
  • Author
  • Location Miquelon-Langlade, Saint Pierre and Miquelon

Solastalgia is a story about a french village, Miquelon, located near Canada, facing enormous challenges due to climate change.

Solastalgia is a term invented by Philosopher Glenn Albrecht in the 2000's. Formed with the words Solace and Nostalgia, the term describes a feeling that appears when confronted with a radical change of the environment where one grew up or spent a lifetime in. Solastalgia is what I felt when I discovered that the place I grew up as a child was facing an entire relocation due to climate change. In Miquelon, a French Island part of Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, a French territory located near Canada, the village is located below sea level which led to a political decision that declared the actual location of the village was inconstructible. The sea level rising above houses, gardens, fields makes it impossible for anyone to project themselves. Being one of the most beautiful places I have ever lived in and the dearest to my heart makes it hard for me to face the idea of any kind of disappearance of this land and its people. I went back to see by myself what the situation was and talked it through with friends and inhabitants I discovered or rediscovered there. I started a documentary project as well as a portrait of all 500 inhabitants using polaroids immersed in water where all faces disappear leaving a maritime landscape instead. By reprinting the polaroids on subtil veils, I play with the appearance and disappearance of faces and landscapes captured by the photo camera.

"These photographs were produced as part of the major national commission "Radioscopy of France: views on a country crossed by the health crisis" financed by the Ministry of Culture and piloted by the BnF.

© Eleonora Strano - Image from the Solastalgia photography project
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Algae invading the port of Miquelon, probably Fucus Ascophyllum. Since the moratorium on cod fishing in 1992, the port of Miquelon has been emptied of its trawlers and only a few pleasure boats and a fishing company remain.

© Eleonora Strano - Image from the Solastalgia photography project
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Fishing traps. Since the moratorium on cod fishing in 1992, the port of Miquelon has been emptied of its trawlers and only a few pleasure boats and a fishing company remain. These lockers belong to individuals.

© Eleonora Strano - Image from the Solastalgia photography project
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View of a house in Miquelon. Since 2018, a coastal risk prevention plan (PPRL) has been approved and a non-constructible zone that includes the current village has been defined.

© Eleonora Strano - Image from the Solastalgia photography project
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Floriano and Laura, 16 and 22 years old, as a couple, they do not see themselves living anywhere else than in Miquelon and are currently living with Jean-Jacques, Floriano's father.

© Eleonora Strano - Immersed polaroid
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Immersed polaroid

© Eleonora Strano - Le goulet, at the exit of the village in full restructuring.
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Le goulet, at the exit of the village in full restructuring.

© Eleonora Strano - Image from the Solastalgia photography project
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The sheep from Thierry Gauthier's farm in Miquelon-Langlade, located near the Isthmus of Langlade. A few years ago, given the climatic conditions, it was still difficult to envisage this type of operation. The milder climate is more conducive to farming.

© Eleonora Strano - Image from the Solastalgia photography project
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On the road to Mirande, a tree is uprooted by the wind. The vegetation in Miquelon consists mainly of boreal forests: small fir trees, bushes, mosses.

© Eleonora Strano - Image from the Solastalgia photography project
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Meric, whose partner lives in France, is still uncertain about their future. Both would like to settle together, surely in Canada, but a time in Miquelon is not excluded. Uncertainty about the situation in the village make them hesitate.

© Eleonora Strano - Immersed polaroid
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Immersed polaroid

© Eleonora Strano - Fishing nets at the landfill symbol of a bygone era of great fishing.
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Fishing nets at the landfill symbol of a bygone era of great fishing.

© Eleonora Strano - Jean-Jacques and his daughters in Le Cap de Miquelon.
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Jean-Jacques and his daughters in Le Cap de Miquelon.

© Eleonora Strano - Image from the Solastalgia photography project
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Ysaline, 14, wants to become a mechanic, and does not see herself living anywhere else than Miquelon despite the housing problems. She sees herself staying, even if it means moving or living with her father when she is in working life.

© Eleonora Strano - View of the village from the houses of Cap, relatively protected from the consequences of climate change and rising waters.
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View of the village from the houses of Cap, relatively protected from the consequences of climate change and rising waters.

© Eleonora Strano - Image from the Solastalgia photography project
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Romain is studying in Canada and does not see himself returning to Miquelon unless there is an exceptional job opportunity there. He is not affected by the lack of housing, but he has friends with children who find themselves in a complex situation.

© Eleonora Strano - Image from the Solastalgia photography project
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Foam on the edge of the pond of Mirande south of Miquelon. Very fragile area like all the natural sites of the island. It is reminiscent of the snow that visits the archipelago less and less in winter due to climate change.

© Eleonora Strano - Image from the Solastalgia photography project
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Philippe, manager of the Anjélie pension, a family pension in Miquelon, on his terrace. Thoughtful, this June is the last he will spend as a resident, he leaves the archipelago in September for the north of France where his daughters are waiting for him.

© Eleonora Strano - Immersed polaroid
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Immersed polaroid

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