Islands in winter.

Brittany. France.

 

A short boat trip from Vannes or Quiberon and you find yourself in another world, the world of the Canard (the Duck) and the Caneton (Duckling). These are the nicknames of Houat and Hoëdic. Two-car seafaring islands facing the ocean, protected by a series of cliffs. The Iles au Moines, for its part, right at the heart of the Golfe du Morbihan, stands sentry over the Breton hinterland. Three little corners of paradise to delight the holiday-makers who come here in summer to recharge their batteries, away from the French mainland. The figures speak volumes: Hoaut has 3000 inhabitants in summer, just 230 in winter. The same is true of Hoëdic and the iles aux Moines, which see their populations increase by a factor of ten in the sunny days of July and august.

 

For the Festival la Gacilly, Guillaume Herbaut investigate these island treasures when the summer visitors had flown, when the colder days had come, storms had arrived to pound these fragile shores, and at last islanders were left to their own devices. A photographic essay showing the true face, the wild nature of these fragments of land. One belongs to an Island more than a country. Island life goes beyond nationality and forges character. Island-dwellers are not comfort-lovers. they exhibit a rebellious, often taciturn nature. For one's island , one would fight to the point of risking shipwreck. Winter is indeed the time to approach Houat or Hoëdic if you want to grasp the life of a place battered by the breakers, the daily existence of people dependent on the mainland for a shuttle service of boats to take the younger generation to secondary school or brining provisions. Living on an Island all the year round means submitting yourself to the climate, the winds, the currents. 

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