BEIRUT: From the tigers of India to the white sharks of the Southern Ocean, few animals have escaped photographer Michel Zoghzoghi’s eagle eye.
Zoghzoghi has been traveling the world for more than 15 years chronicling the beauty of endangered species, while also drawing attention to these “threatened kingdoms” through exhibitions in Lebanon, France, the UK and the UAE.
However, his latest exhibition, “Other Nations,” carries a double appeal and is raising funds for the American University of Beirut Medical Center to help cancer patients in Lebanon. The exhibition at the Dar El-Nimer gallery in Beirut will close on April 16.
Zoghzoghi sets out to highlight the perfect balance of nature, and to show what we are in danger of losing.
“I want to show how beautiful predatory animals are and how extraordinary the nature in which they live is,” he said. “But my aim is also to send out a warning that all the species represented are endangered and that many are on the brink of extinction,” Zoghzoghi told Arab News en français.
“Today the uncontrolled development of modern civilizations has called everything into question. Man has become the alpha predator, but unlike other predators, he has not kept a balance and is threatening himself.”
The title of the exhibition was inspired by Henry Beston’s 1928 book “The Outermost House,” in which the naturalist writes: “They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.”
Zoghzoghi said that his latest exhibition includes photographs taken over the past 12 years in Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, northern Norway, the US, Canada, Dubai and Brazil.
The photographer refers to his expeditions as “missions,” adding that the journeys can be “far from easy.”
He often spends hours concealed in hides while waiting for an animal.
“I have already traveled without being able to photograph the intended animal. I traveled to the border of Pakistan and India to immortalize the snow leopard and I failed. I also remember taking a trip to South Africa to see sharks, and — no photos.”
Zoghzoghi’s future destinations include Kenya, the Amazon, northern Canada, and the India-Pakistan border, where he hopes to photograph the elusive snow leopard. He is also planning a second book detailing his most recent journeys.
This article was translated from Arab News en Français.
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