© Bruno Serralongue

Bruno Serralongue

Bruno Serralongue (born in 1968 in Chatellerault, France. Lives and works in Paris) has been developing since the early 1990s an oeuvre that questions and reveals the conditions of production, distribution and circulation of the media image. While he is not a photographer reporter in the strict sense of the term – he does not work for any media – Bruno Serralongue nonetheless photographs the news and the major events that compose it. Contrary to the spectacular treatment of mainstream media, his artistic approach to documentary images favors the off-screen, the long term and collective movements.

In the Cabinet de curiosités économiques, Bruno Serralongue presents a photographic account of the exit of Naturalists in Struggle on the ZAD of Notre-Dame-des-Landes on May 8th, 2016. His images document the search for new stations of swimming flutes and the floristic monitoring of pond 107 that reopened in 2015, 2016.

If the planned airport in the commune of Notre-Dame-des-Landes had been built, it would have been established on 1,426 hectares of miraculously preserved bocage and wetlands and would have resulted in the destruction of many protected animal and plant species.

The promoters of the airport project were aware of the ecological interest of the Notre-Dame-des-Landes site (the Biotope design office was mandated by the project leaders to carry out an inventory. The final report showed the site’s interest for amphibians and birds and lists 74 species protected by French law). However, their whole argument rested on the fact that they would be able to compensate for the enormous loss of biodiversity caused by the project. The nature protection associations, for their part, believed that the loss of biodiversity on the site could in no way be compensated. Faced with this risk, a group of professional and amateur naturalists decided to come together in order to get a second opinion by carrying out a systematic inventory of natural habitats, flora and fauna present on the moor, the results thus obtained was used to feed legal files filed by nature protection associations with the courts. After 3 years of inventories (2013 – 2015), the result obtained by the Naturalistes en Lutte is final: more than 2,000 species have been inventoried, 130 protected species listed (and not 74), 5 species previously unknown in France were discovered and dozens unknown in the Loire Atlantique department. Beyond the figures that confirm the ecological interest of the site, this is the method that should be noticed. The outings organized by the Naturalistes en Lutte on the second Sunday of each month were open to everyone. Who would come with their knowledge and skills and pool them, share them. We came to learn and to participate in the fight against the airport. Because it was the collective work carried out by volunteer naturalists that blocked the work.