Refraction – Ocean State Citizens
Since June 21st, L’Aventure du Sucre reveals its new temporary exhibition. The museum started from a simple fact, as Edwige Gufflet, managing director, says: “The future of the human species can’t go without healthy oceans. Beyond the food they provide, they play multiple roles which are essentials to the next generations’ survival. They are the blue lung of the planet: they produce more than half of the oxygen we breathe, they clean up the atmosphere and regulate the climate at a global scale. They also constitute key resource wells: energy, scarce materials… The ocean is full of hidden treasures, and we only know a tiny part of it!”
The seas and oceans around the planet are home to various ecosystems: from coral reefs to seagrass lands, including mangroves and abyssal plains, underwater worlds are multiple and very different!
Vassen Kauppaymuthoo, Oceanographer and Environmental Engineer says: "The Republic of Mauritius is considered as an Ocean State, with all its small islands and vast oceanic areas expanding over nearly 2.3 million square kilometres, more than four times the size of France. These vast areas constitute a unique environmental asset for Mauritians for present and future generations, and they need to be protected. We need to change our perspective from Islanders to ocean state citizens and the work of Joshila will steer us towards this new vision for our country"
However, these ecosystems and the countless living beings they shelter are threatened by human activities. Many vegetal and animal species, which contribute to its marine biodiversity richness, are endangered and will not survive if our practices do not change. Their future rely on our immediate reaction, and on the youth’s education.
“The Refraction exhibition offers to care about Mauritian marine ecosystems and to some of the species that live there, such as marine turtles, octopuses or cetaceans”, Sandrine Marrier d’Unienville, cultural development and communication manager, explains. “It is about focusing on the impact of human behaviour on these natural environments and questioning our habits.”
To do this, L’Aventure du Sucre collaborates with Joshila Dhaby, a Mauritian conscious artist who puts sustainable development at the heart of her work. In her colourful compositions, she tackles topics like youth, society, responsibility and environment. Through her paintings and artworks, she invites the spectator to think about the way humans interact with nature.
Joshila explains the origin of the title, Refraction: “We see the world around us because of the way our eyes refract, or bend, light. In order to see, we must have light. In order to see we must clear preconceived ideas. In order to see we must become aware of distortions and learn to see with our senses. For this exhibition, my body of work speaks about the youth responsibility towards the marine environment. In order for the youth to be in symbiosis with this environment, they need to be aware of the richness and fragility of the ocean that surrounds them.
We live on an island and hence can experiment the beauty of nature, of the ocean and marine life first hand. Yet we seem to be disconnected. Our everyday actions show this disconnect. Plastic pollution, marine debris, consumerism... It does give me a sense of hope to see the youth engaged in different sustainable initiatives though. Big shoutout to #Fridaysforfuture!”
Joshila is the recipient of an Art grant by the National Art Fund under the Emerging talent category, which allows her to create. Around twenty pieces will be shown. They will be accompanied by 3D installations produced with Bois Rouge Youth Community members, and students from the Pamplemousses SSS, the African Leadership University (ALU) and the Mahatma Gandhi Institute (MGI).
This exhibition was made possible thanks to the support of Currimjee Jeewanjee, Terra, MCB, Eclosia, Novaterra, Mauvilac, Vikasa Capital, Design Element, SignFix, KFC, SiteX360, Reef Conservation, Indian Ocean Commission, Albion Fisheries Research Centre, Mauritius Oceanography Institute, Expédition 7ème continent, Edeos - Digital Education.
An amazing awakening for all ages.
Refraction, from 21 June 2019 to 31st of may 2020
8 instructive boards
6 interactive games
Exhibition in English and French
Workshops available on request for schools (preschool to HSC)