A photographer reveals behind the scenes of tourist places destroyed by overtourism

Author: Clark Tos
2022-09-13 13:05:04

A lake near Chamonix crowded with people, the Gorges du Verdon drowned by 200 boats, a field of sunflowers stormed by tourists…. The shots of this young photographer are perfect examples of overtourism.

Credit: natachademahieu/ Instagram

'Theatre of Authenticity', this is how the Belgian photographer, Natacha de Mahieu chose to title his series of photos. This theater of reality that the 26-year-old artist strives to show is the overtourism places of voyage all over Europe.

From France to Germany to Turkey, the young photographer traveled to the popular natural sites of the old continent, dictated by the popularity of the number of geolocations on Instagram.

For each popular natural site listed in number on her own Instagram geolocation page, Natacha de Mahieu realized the uniformity of the photos present: in general, a person on the scene of a sublime setting that seems devoid of tourists . A false observation that the photographer quickly saw on these places.

Credit: natachademahieu/ Instagram

« This is typically the kind of place where you feel like you are alone. You do not feel the overcrowding of the site when you are there. You don't feel it either when you look at social networks. Everyone stands alone “, she quotes, taking as an example the Blanc lake of Chamonix, to France Culture , to whom we owe the interview.

“We are more here to take the killer photo than really to live the experience”

Credit: natachademahieu/ Instagram

Natacha de Mahieu caught the photography bug after a trip to South America. She then pursued studies in documentary photography for which she presented the pictures of 'Theatre of Authenticity'.

On the natural places popular with tourists, Natacha de Mahieu posed her camera. By remaining 20 minutes or more in the same position and on the same frame, the photographer took, at several intervals, shots of the place when the tourists approached. The young woman then superimposed all her shots to show the number of people who trod the place in a given period of time. The result contrasts so to speak enormously with the Instagram photos which show a desert and wild setting. Indeed, on the superimposed frames of Natacha, we see places attacked by tourists. What she calls a invisible mass tourism because scattered over time.

Credit: natachademahieu/ Instagram

Magnificent places popular with tourists whose goal is to take photos for Instagram rather than discovering places. ' Our whole travel experience is transformed, because sometimes I have the impression that we are more there to take the killer photo than really to live the experience, to look with our eyes rather than on the screen. what we see », Still analyzes Natacha de Mahieu for France Culture .

Denouncing the diktat of 'likes', aesthetic clichés and Instagram popularity which, for superficial reasons, impact our environment, such is the approach of the young photographer who uses the fictitious geolocation created by WWF 'I protect nature' to preserve natural places from mass tourism.

Credit: natachademahieu/ Instagram

Source : France Culture