Adventurers, artists & ecologists present at CHAMFEST
Chamonix Mont-Blanc 21st May 2018
Adventure and environmental literary talks will be given by BASE jumper Sam Beaugey, respected naturalist Gilbert Cochet and alpine geographer Sylvain Coutterand, at the first ever CHAMFEST in Chamonix Mont-Blanc from 15th to 17th June, with renowned artist and climber Andy Parkin holding interactive painting workshops throughout the 3 days of this new boutique family festival.
The cultural programme of this new event in the Chamonix Mont-Blanc summer calendar gets underway on Friday 15th June in an appropriately CHAMFEST environmental vein - one of the overall themes of the festival is ecological consciousness - with a presentation given by Inspire, a non-profit environmental organisation from the Chamonix valley that works for a better respect of air quality, climate and public health. Their talk will give tips and practical information on how to reduce emissions in the areas where we have a direct input: our homes, our travel and our consumption.
Also on Friday, author and radio journalist Richard Gaitet will tell how he climbed Mont-Blanc as a completely inexperienced alpinist, guided by René Ghilini, as well as reading excerpts from his book Tête en l’air (Head in the Clouds) published by Editions Paulsen, the parent company of Chamonix publisher Editions Guérin. Local filmmaker and co-founder of Seven Twenty Productions, Rachel Bradley will give a talk on the issues surrounding the Bornean pygmy elephant, whose rainforest habitat is rapidly disappearing. This smallest elephant species in the world is heading towards extinction, much like the pygmy rhinoceros, declared extinct last year. Rachel has been raising awareness of the pygmy elephants’ plight and has travelled to Borneo to aid the cause. On this first day of CHAMFEST, there will be an art auction held by non-profit organisation Art for Change, which specialises in exhibitions that raise awareness and funds humanitarian and environmental projects, while promoting local artists.
On Saturday 16th June there will be a screening of the film Guides et Cie (Guides & Co) by Gilles Chappaz of the Chamonix Mont-Blanc guiding company. Chamonix born and bred guide and BASE jumper Sam Beaugey will be discussing his book Les Sales Gosses (Brats), which is all about grommets growing up at the foot of the craggy steeps of Mont-Blanc. And Chamoniard alpine geographer and geomorphologist Sylvain Coutterand will be talking about glacial retreat and climate change, the subject of his book Atlas des glaciers disparus (Atlas of vanished glaciers).
On Sunday 17th June, an environmental literary round table will be hosted by naturalist and guide Gilbert Cochet, discussing his latest book Ré-ensauvageons la France (Make France Wild Again) with local naturalist and photographer Daniel Rodrigues, who made the film Origines - La faune venue du froid (Origins - The fauna coming from the cold).
All three days of CHAMFEST will see artist and climber Andy Parkin, who made Chamonix his home 25 years ago, hosting interactive art workshops in painting with children. Andy works regularly with children, at his studio and gallery La Pharmacie des Artistes in Argentière, to help them develop their artistic talents, which he also does in Nepal, as part of Community Action Nepal. Andy brings back from Nepal art works by pupils of the Bahrabise school which he displays and sells in La Pharmacie.
Broadcasting on 90.5FM throughout the festival will be CHAMFEST Radio, a temporary festival station produced by Globule Radio, a radio station produced and presented by Chamonix children. Youngsters can meet the on-air team and sign up for workshops in radio production.
More arts, literary and cultural events are still to be announced for this first edition of CHAMFEST, so be sure to watch the website for details and to book tickets: https://chamfest.fr/en/programme-2018/.