Each year, numerous presenters gather to explore how photography and video are impacting conservation efforts around the globe at The International League Of Conservation Photographers’ symposium, WILDspeak. This year’s event will be held November 15 and 16, 2016, in Washington D.C., where Daisy Gilardini will discuss Climate Change in the Polar Regions.
A Nikon Ambassador wildlife photographer originally from Switzerland, Daisy Gilardini now lives in British Columbia, Canada, but spends the majority of her time photographing the Polar Regions of Antarctica. “Many times I tried to understand this irresistible attraction to the Polar Regions, which I’d define almost as an addiction or obsession,” she explains. “These extreme adventures transport me out of my ordinary worldliness, leading me in a voyage of self-discovery. The isolation from the modern civilization and all the distractions that come with it bring me back to appreciate and focus on the simple rhythm of nature. The healing feelings of rediscovering the primordial connection with nature and the interconnection among all species on earth inspire deep respect and awareness for the importance of these delicate ecosystems.”
Since 1997, Gilardini has joined over 50 expeditions to Antarctica and the Arctic, traveling via research vessels, icebreakers and a sailboat, on land and even on skies during a Russian expedition to the North Pole. Extreme adventure and environmental commitment are what drive her as a photographer. “If humankind wants to survive and evolve with our planet we have to act responsibly, by acknowledging with humility that nature isn’t depended by us, but we are dependent by nature.
“As environmental photographers, it’s our duty to capture the beauty of places and species at risk and raise awareness through the universal power of the images we capture. While science provides the data necessary to explain issues and suggest solutions, photography symbolizes these issues. Science is the brain, while photography is the heart, and we need to reach people’s heart and emotions in order to move them to action, for nature and for us.”
Gilardini’s experience studying bears in the Arctic, Alaska and the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia over the past 10 years evolved into a project entitled “Bear Tales” in June of 2016. The project consists of a multimedia presentation, a book and a photo exhibit, with the mission of educating viewers on the controversial issues surrounding polar, grizzly, black and Kermode bears, such as poaching, trophy hunting and loss of habitat. Gilardini has had a lifelong passion for these incredible creatures. “As a kid I grew up with a huge collection of stuffed teddy bears and all sorts of other animals, which today is still on display in my bedroom. I considered them my friends—creatures who would protect me during the long, dark nights. Today they simply make me smile, conjuring up the child that still resides deep in all of us. Raised in Switzerland at a time when bears were not to be found, I never questioned why I loved bears so much. Through focusing my work on real bears and studying the origins of our relationships with them, I have come to understand the deep bonds between the two species, as well as the problems that come with it.”
To learn more about Daisy Gilardini, visit www.daisygilardini.com.
WiLDspeak—A Symposium on Photography, Conservation & Communications
November 15 & 16, 2016
Carnegie Institution for Science
1530 P Street, NW Washington D.C. 20005