If you’re familiar with the series Earth From Above then you already know that photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand has global vision. He has been drawing a unique aerial portrait of our planet since 1944. While his photos reveal dazzling beauty and bio-diversity of the earth, they also encourage people to think globally about sustainable living.
In 2003 Yann’s photographic portraits came down to earth when he began a project called 6 billion Others, a complex photographic exhibit and web experience, that documents interviews with over 6,000 people from 65 countries.
“The idea came to me while we were taking the shots for “Earth from Above”, in Mali, one day when the helicopter was out of action. The pilot had gone and I was waiting for him in a little village where I started to have a discussion with someone. I stayed there the whole day. In the evening, by the fireside, that man I’d been talking to told me his entire life, his desires, his wishes, his ambitions – they could be summed up in four words – “to feed my family”. In spite of the poverty, the drought, I still thought I understood the whole situation. But in fact I didn’t have a clue until that man put it to me, just like that, looking me straight in the eye, not complaining, not asking me for anything. That meeting changed me, it changed the whole way I see the world.”
Yann and more than 75 photographers and cameramen gathered individual testimonies from every corner of the world. A carefully prepared list of 40 questions covered topics like Dreams, Fears, Happiness and Love. “What have you learned from your parents? What does love man to you? “
When you open 6 billion Others web-site, take time to visit the countries, discover how the interviews made and especially enjoy observing the faces and listening to the words — perhaps you’ll find some clues to what separates and unites us from the 6 billion others.