Category: Vibrant and Vulnerable

Heritage Photo Exhibition!

Please help us celebrate island heritage and the work of photographers of all ages at the 2014 Heritage Photo Exhibition. The gala opening of the Exhibition will be held at 7pm on Saturday, December 6th at Lagoonies Bistro and Bar at Lagoon Marina in Cole Bay. This event is free and open to the public, and will include large-format displays, voting for the People’s Choice Award, and an official prize ceremony at 9pm. The winning works and other entries will be on display throughout the following week.

The Heritage Photo Contest and Exhibition was developed by Les Fruits de Mer to showcase art created here on St. Martin/St. Maarten, and to engage residents–especially kids–in thinking about their heritage. The Be the Change SXM Foundation provided funding for the contest and exhibition.

The panel of judges faced many difficult decisions when selecting the winners of the 2014 Heritage Photo Contest. With over 75 entries, the competition was fierce, and the works submitted beautifully captured many diverse aspects of the island’s heritage.

The theme of this year’s contest, “Vibrant and Vulnerable”, followed an unusual format and was chosen to raise awareness about the island’s unique natural, cultural and historic heritage, as well as the threats facing this heritage and the need to preserve it. Each entry included two photos–one representing a “Vibrant” aspect of the island and one representing a “Vulnerable” aspect–and the artist’s statement about the photo selections. This format was very open to creative interpretation, and the entries that poured in touch on many different facets of local heritage, from plants, animals and landscape, to history, architecture and culture.

In the end, the first prize in the overall competition went to Alexandre Guerre, and top honors in the youth competition were awarded to Luna Valenti. Their photos, along with many other fantastic entries, will be featured at the upcoming exhibition.

One remaining prize, the $100 People’s Choice Award, will be decided by those who attend the opening of the exhibition. “We’re thrilled to invite everyone to take the opportunity to enjoy the stunning, thought-provoking photos at this exhibition,” says Les Fruits de Mer President Jenn Yerkes, “And, of course, to vote for their favorite!” Voting will be done by ballot between 7pm and 9pm.

For those who cannot attend, or would like a sneak preview of the entries that were submitted, an online gallery of entries can be found at http://www.lesfruitsdemer.com/category/vibrant-and-vulnerable/.

A green turtle takes center stage in the “Vibrant” photo from Alexandre Guerre’s winning entry. Photo by Alexandre Guerre.
A green turtle takes center stage in the “Vibrant” photo from Alexandre Guerre’s winning entry. Photo by Alexandre Guerre.
The “Vulnerable” photo from Alexandre Guerre’s winning entry captures the bright colors of the island’s traditional architecture. Photo by Alexandre Guerre.
The “Vulnerable” photo from Alexandre Guerre’s winning entry captures the bright colors of the island’s traditional architecture. Photo by Alexandre Guerre.
Young photographer Luna Valenti showcased this hummingbird as a “Vibrant” part of St. Martin’s heritage. Photo by Luna Valenti.
Young photographer Luna Valenti showcased this hummingbird as a “Vibrant” part of St. Martin’s heritage. Photo by Luna Valenti.
Luna Valenti’s “Vulnerable” photo spotlights the time-weathered pier in Grand Case. Photo by Luna Valenti.
Luna Valenti’s “Vulnerable” photo spotlights the time-weathered pier in Grand Case. Photo by Luna Valenti.

2014 Heritage Photo Contest and Exhibition: Vibrant and Vulnerable

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Heritage Photo Contest and Exhibition
(Pour la traduction française, cliquez sur “Continue reading →” et faire défiler vers le bas.)

Deadline extended: submissions are now being accepted until June 15, 2014.

The Heritage Photo Contest and Exhibition is an opportunity to showcase St. Martin/St. Maarten’s unique natural, cultural and historic heritage. The theme of this year’s contest and exhibition will be Vibrant and Vulnerable. The goal of this project is to raise awareness about the beautiful, valuable and extraordinary heritage of St. Martin/St. Maarten, as well as the threats facing this heritage and the need to preserve it. We hope that this contest will serve as an opportunity to explore, share and promote many of the things that make this island unique, and serve as a focal point to understand, discuss and act on the things that put this heritage at risk.

Entries for this year’s theme will include two photos, one representing a vibrant aspect and one representing a vulnerable aspect of St. Martin/St. Maarten, with a statement by the photographer explaining the selection of photos. Photos can be submitted from May 1st to June 15th, although they can be taken at any time. The photos and statement must be the work of the entrant. Qualifying entries will be displayed online as they are received, and an exhibition will be held in June 2014 featuring selected entries. There will be awards for the winning entries in three categories: Adult, Under 18 and People’s Choice. Prizes will be announced during the entry period.

This contest and exhibition initiative is created and managed by the Les Fruits de Mer Association, with funding from Be the Change SXM.

For rules and how to enter: Read more

Marie-Claire Mauro

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Vibrant
Vibrant is discovering these funny little beings, finding a house suiting their needs, climbing up the beach, the rocks, between roots and plants. Vibrant is the sound of their scrawling, of their shell rolling. Vibrant is the silence when they feel us around, when they hide in… Vibrant is the smile of our children, when they pick it up softly to observe. Vibrant is putting them back in the exact place, for them to go free, as they had planned. Vibrant was this unexpected meeting while hiking on Chemin des Froussards, in Anse Marcel.

Vulnerable
Beautiful sight, vibrant colours. Yet vulnerable sea. In Grand Case, a lot of houses and restaurants release used water on the beach. It goes to the sea. All that soap, all those chemicals, all type of organic waste mixing with that transparent blue water. At that pace, how long will the bay of Grand Case look like this ? How long before there is no more starfish ? How long before they must change the colour of their house, to match a darker dirtier sea ?
Nice colourful houses, along Grand Case Bay, sadly releasing poison every day…

Judith van de Pas van Oort

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Vibrant
Vibrant are lifelines
On big sailing ships, is the one hand guiding another, keeping lines literally untangled, guarding the lifelines for whenever they would ne needed.
Working hard to make sure everyone is safe and sound.
Weird isn’t it? It’s all about (life) lines.

Vulnerable
Vulnerable are lifelines.
From the little hands that pick up even smaller living creatures, to the hand that guides the child along, like that hand needed guidance or still does…
Working hard to make sure everyone is safe and sound.
Everything is about lifelines.

Judith van de Pas van Oort

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Vibrant
Vibrant is the whole environment we live in, especially in places like our tiny SXM
Walk out of your home, and register the first living thing you come across.
Yes, that takes about two meters of walking. We can nurture that!

Vulnerable
Vulnerable is the whole of environment we all live in, especially in places like our tiny SXM.
Walk out of your home, and register the first trash you come across.
Yes….that takes about two meters of walking. We can change that!

Prashant Asnani

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Vibrant
Iguana:
I was surrounded with plants, trees, and nothing but greenery. Everything around me was in regards to nature. As soon as I realized this, I saw an iguana that blended perfectly with nature and I knew I must take a photo of it. Whenever I view this photo, there is a great sense of nostalgia that comes with it. The iguana in it’s natural habitat and the vibrant shades of green allows me to enjoy the nature on our island.

Location: St. Peters, St. Maarten.

Sunset:
A two minute walk away from where I live in Philipsburg, is a small beach, where I have the privilege to view beautiful sunsets everyday. And here is one of them. In one of my science classes, I was taught that the sun is the primary source of energy, heat, and light. This lesson inspired me to capture the majestic beauty of the sun. There are sunsets, and then there are St. Maarten sunsets.

Location: Great Bay, St. Maarten.

Vulnerable

Egret:
Every morning when I would go to school, I would pass by The Great Salt Pond. What would never cease to amaze me were these birds known as White Egrets. There would be hundreds of them every morning enjoying their morning catch. One morning on a day off from school, I woke at 5:30AM and got there early to get a bit of morning light just to capture an image of one of these beautiful birds. The Great Salt Pond is undoubtedly historically significant to our island, and around this time, there was news about the filling-in of sand in the pond, which resulted in many dead fish. And it is these badly contaminated fish the birds would later have to consume. When I look at this photo, I cannot help but think how vulnerable these birds were due to human activities. The inspiring feature of this shot is that there is life among everything that has happened. The birds still live on, which is the white Egret’s true beauty in this picture.

Location: The Great Salt Pond, Pondfill Rd, St. Maarten.

Jovito Hermoso

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Vibrant
St. Maarten/ St. Martin
The mountainous terrain and hills of St. Maarten/St. Martin provides a unique charm. The beautiful turquoise waters and stretches of white sand beaches adds beauty to this beautiful island.

Vulnerable
The Shores
There are many perspectives to a photo. If you look far enough in this one (as many tend to do) you look past the ugly and see what you only want to see. If you look closely (as you are meant to) you see the truth right in front of you. It is a bad habit we must break in order to fix the problems instead of hide them behind a false truth

Luna Valenti

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Vibrant
Une merveille de la nature qui nous réjouit de ses couleurs chatoyantes ; le colibri, ne cesse de battre de ses ailes que très rarement…

Vulnerable
Le pont de Grand Case, patrimoine historique de notre île, témoin de l’évolution, fragilisé par le temps…

Keturah de Weever

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Vibrant
This fishing hut indicates the ability of a fishing family who continues the tradition of making fish pots and selling fish as a means of income. One of our eldest trade on St. Maarten.

Vulnerable
The skills needed to make a fish pot is on the verge of becoming extinct on our island.

Keturah de Weever

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Vibrant
Sailboats in the shore reminds us of our diversified economic pillar that builds our country.

Vulnerable
When funds are not available to remove old boats, it becomes an eye sore in our beautiful turquoise water while shedding its rust and debris slowly but surely in our sea.

Keturah de Weever

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Vibrant
The sunrise shines over the volcanic cliff rocks and gives the sahara dust it’s golden sheen. This beautiful haze in the atmosphere approaches our shore.

Vulnerable
The power of a hurricane may blow this bolder away into the ocean leaving the cliff bare.

Samantha Yerkes

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Vibrant
The Butterfly Farm is a place for butterflies and all the butterflies have their own plants to live on. They have their own colors too. This moth has bright orange, brown and white colors to blend into its background and camouflage itself.

Vulnerable
I took this at the Arrowroot Festival. It is preserving the culture because more people did arrowroot in the old times. They dig it from the ground, then people wash them, then they smash them, then they keep doing stuff to it so you can eat it. They can make it into a batter, then they can make it into arrowroot cakes, yummy!

It is important to keep your culture. People are passing it down so in the future, people will still do it.

Dolly Yerkes

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Vibrant
The first photo I vibrant as it shows the beautiful and colorful scenery of Saint Martin; the grassy hills and blue water without development.

Vulnerable
The second photo reminds us that this beauty is vulnerable. If we do not take care of the environment its beauty will be tarnished with our waste. We must take steps to clean it up so that other generations can enjoy the same scenery.

Dominique Noiré

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Vibrant
A djembe player celebrates a beautiful day with friends on Grande Cayes beach. Music and especially percussions are part of St Martin/St Maarten tradition, and played in many events all year around.
Un joueur de djembe celbre une belle journee avec des amis sur la plage de Grande Cayes. La musique et particulierement les percussions font partie integrante de la culture de st Martin/St Maarten, et on peut entendre les tambours resonner ici et la tout au long de l’annee.

Vulnerable
Museums have historically been centers of research, education, and public outreach. St Martin/st Maarten cultural heritage has been preserved in the Museum on the road to Fort Louis, near the catholic church. Although it has been opened for many years, and contains rare and original artifacts from the first island’s inhabitants, the Arawak indians, too few people know about it and/or visit during opening hours, Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.

Dominique Noiré

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Vibrant
Each Summer in Colombier valley, one can only marvel at the vibrant beauty of Nature : Flamboyant trees (or Flamingo trees or July trees) in full bloom, vivid reds and yellows contrasting with the greenery, and cattle grazing peacefully in the shade.

Vivant
Chaque ete dans la vallee de Colombier, Les Flamboyants (ou arbres de Juillet), nous offrent la splendeur de leurs feuillages rouges et jaunes, contrastant avec la verdure des alentours tandis que le betail pait a l’ombre, en toute serenite .

Vulnerable
A Tiny seahorse is grasping a piece of sponge with its tail to fight the current off Simpson Bay beach. Pollution is threatening our Oceans and its inhabitants, just like anywhere else in the world. It is up to us to take care of our Nature, for example by keeping our trash down and banning plastic bags.

Vulnérable
Un petit hippocampe s’agrippe avec sa queue a un morceau d’eponge pres de la plage de Simpson Bay. La pollution menace nos Oceans comme partout dans le monde. Il n’appartient qu’a nous de les proteger, par exemple en reduisant nos dechets et renoncant aux sacs platique.

Dominique Noiré

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queen angel

Vibrant
I love my ram contest in COLOMBIER.
Since the year 2000, Every first Sunday in July the “most beautiful Ram “contest in the beautiful COLOMBIER valley is held.
Although the contest is relatively new, St Martin/St Maarten families have always been proud of their rams and rightly so. Let’s help preserve and reinforce this event that gathers a large local community in a friendly atmosphere.

Vulnerable
As pretty as it seems, the reef and its inhabitants need our help, like this young Queen Angel Fish swimming by colourful sponges a few miles off Great Bay. By keeping our Oceans clean and reducing overall pollution, each one of us, one step at a time, can influence Planet Ocean health.

Ilja Botha

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Vibrant
Vibrant are our youth and this yellow Flamboyant in Emilio Wilson Estate Park. Together with a friend the girl picked up the old seed pods later and they made music together. Vibrant is also the shak shak sound the pods of our National Tree make.

Vulnerable
Vulnerable are the few remaining mangroves on St Maarten/ St Martin. This mangrove in Oyster Pond has managed to survive the construction of marinas, pollution of the pond and the feasting on it by Green Iguanas. Due to the feeding of the iguanas by bar staff, the population in this bush as grown enormously and has become a loved photo shooting site for passing tourists. All I’m hoping is that this mangrove will survive September when the bar is closed and there is nothing to eat for the iguanas other than the mangrove leaves…

Jeremy Faro

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In his 1992 Nobel Lecture, Derek Walcott remarked that “visual surprise is natural in the Caribbean; it comes with the landscape, and faced with its beauty, the sigh of History dissolves.” I think about this submission in terms of Humankind and Nature physically meeting, overlapping, or intersecting on Saint Martin/St Maarten in ways that are sudden, surprising, beautiful, and terrifying to me. Vibrancy and vulnerability can be seen or felt in either photograph; the relative strength of either sensation is drawn out from the viewer herself or himself, according to the vagaries of their own personal History and current position in or on the world.

Liliane Magnin

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Vivant
MARIGOT / GRAND BAY-La statue “Lady Liberty” au rond-point Agrément est probablement la sculpture la plus connue du public par Theodore Bonev à Saint-Martin.

“La beauté magnifique et l’élégance de Lady Liberty” a été dévoilé en 2007 pour marquer le 159e anniversaire de l’émancipation de l’esclavage 1848.

Vulnérable
Au fil de l’eau-Le bateau cela peut être un merveilleux moyen de découvrir SAINT MARTIN LA BELLE
Attention amis plaisanciers ne vous amarrer pas trop prêt ! afin de ne pas gêner les baigne

Christine Garner

© Chris Garner Photography 2014 All Rights Reserved

All rights Reserved

Vibrant
VIBRANT is the green Iguana because any species that lives anywhere around me or my home is fiercely protected.

Vulnerable
VULNERABLE are the beautiful “Ladies of the Night” cactus that only come out once a year at night, then slowly succumb to the morning sun.

Ingrid van Viegen

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Sailboats

Vibrant
the Heineken regatta good sportsmanship, team work, competition and fun, sailors and landlubbers all involved, love it!

Vulnerable
hurricane luis was the proof that good and safe anchorage is important. it’s been a while but let’s not forget!

Ingrid van Viegen

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Pinel Key

Vibrant
sentimental memory, it used to be a quiet place for people to either camp or spend the day. if you didn’t have your own boat the fishermen would drop off and pick up at your convenience.

Vulnerable
nowadays it’s crowded, full ferries come in and leave, impatient boatdrivers using their whistles to hurry you up, and a beach filled with umbrellas and chairs.