Ur­ban change

Fourth Franco-Chi­nese Month of the En­vi­ron­ment cel­e­brated in Shang­hai

Global Times – Metro Shanghai - - FRONT PAGE - By Qi Xi­jia

The fourth Franco-Chi­nese Month of the En­vi­ron­ment kicked off in Shang­hai on Sat­ur­day. This year the theme is de­voted to ur­ban change. Last­ing through Oc­to­ber 18, there will be more than 30 pro­grams of­fered in 15 cities across China cov­er­ing ar­chi­tec­ture ex­hi­bi­tion, pho­tog­ra­phy, lec­tures, round ta­bles and film screen­ings to il­lus­trate ma­jor en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues in an ac­ces­si­ble way.

Jean-Maurice Ripert, the French Am­bas­sador to China, said in his open­ing speech that fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment of Amer­ica’s de­ci­sion to pull out of the Paris agree­ment, France set about ini­ti­at­ing a se­ries of projects that un­der­line a com­mit­ment to fight against cli­mate change.

“In this con­text, China, a lead­ing player at the Paris Con­fer­ence, is an essen­tial part­ner of France,” he said.

French pho­tog­ra­pher Anais Mar­tane, wife of Chi­nese ac­tor Liu Ye, also at­tended the open­ing cer­e­mony as the pa­tron of the fes­ti­val and shared her var­i­ous en­vi­ron­men­tal prac­tices with the au­di­ence.

Born in Nice of south­ern France, her in­volve­ment in en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion be­gan with her con­nec­tion to the sea. While scuba div­ing with Liu, she wit­nessed de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in the ocean and be­came aware of what is hap­pen­ing to the en­vi­ron­ment.

“Seven years ago we came face to face to some leop­ard sharks; a few years later they have com­pletely dis­ap­peared,” she said. “The Franco-Chi­nese Month of the En­vi­ron­ment is an essen­tial part of reach­ing out to a large num­ber of peo­ple to ex­plain what is at stake and how to take ac­tion.”

Some high­lighted pro­grams in Shang­hai in­cluded The Card­board City, a par­tic­i­pa­tive con­struc­tion in­stal­la­tion. Lo­cal res­i­dents are in­vited to build a new “city” with vis­ual artist Olivier Gros­setete us­ing card­board and tape. Gros­setete has spe­cial­ized in con­struc­tion card­board since 2002. Un­der his guid­ance, more than 60 ephemeral cities have been erected by par­tic­i­pants all over the world.

French direc­tor Jean-Michel Vec­chiet will also be on tour in Shang­hai in Oc­to­ber to give lec­tures on ur­ban de­vel­op­ment of the city. His film

Shang­hai, Mem­ory of Pierre of­fers a cin­e­mato­graphic ex­plo­ration of changes tak­ing place in Shang­hai, Suzhou and Nan­jing from 1994 to 1997.

Pho­tos: Cour­tesy of Con­sulate Gen­eral of France in Shang­hai

(Above) Axel Cruau (sec­ond from right), Con­sul Gen­eral of France in Shang­hai, chats with at­ten­dees at the event. JeanMau­rice Ripert, the French Am­bas­sador to China, de­liv­ers a speech at the event Sat­ur­day. (Be­low) At­ten­dees pose at the event Sat­ur­day.

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