"Island Stories"

Beginning in April 2011, Nausicaa will present "Island Stories", a new exposition offering visitors the chance to marvel, travel, and change their surroundings with spectacular and unusual animals and multimedia animations within a very inventive set design. This temporary exposition is co-produced by Nausicaa, National Sea Experience Centre in Boulogne-sur-mer and the Mare Nostrum Aquarium in Montpellier, in partnership with the AOSIS (Alliance of Small Island States).

Boarding soon

Like miniature planets, islands are worlds apart; small, vulnerable, and isolated in the Ocean, much like our planet Earth in the infinity of space. The islands are at the forefront of environmental, social and economic challenges that affect us all. Owing to their small size and limited resources, they are particularly vulnerable, particularly regarding climate change and rising sea levels. Starting today, small island states must implement pioneering actions and invent solutions that will inspire mainland citizens who will be facing the same challenges tomorrow.

In the "Island Stories" Exposition, the visitor lands on a island and begins exploring exotic landscapes populated by amazing animals – colourful reef fauna, zebra sharks, king crabs, pig-nosed turtles, leafy sea dragons, and giant octopus… From island to island, the islanders tell about their history, share their hopes and talk about initiatives to address current issues, accompanied by spectacular images and a scripted audiovisual journey.

Why feature an exhibit on the Islands?

There are fifty or so small island states which represent a multitude of islands, islets and archipelagos.

Since 2007, Philippe VALLETTE, General Director of Nausicaa, met at the United Nations with representatives of island states, particularly the Seychelles, Maldives and Tuvalu and with Dessima WILLIAMS, President of the AOSIS and representative of Grenada. They all expressed their concerns and the situation of island states.

In December 2009, they alerted participants of the COP15 about the status of islands threatened by global warming, an urgent phenomenon that the continents will have face in the near future. Far from the often widespread opinion, islanders do not rely on handouts from the international community, they are pioneers, as they must now find the solutions that everyone needs to live on our blue planet. Thus the islands are sentinels, environmental laboratories that are currently testing models of sustainable development that will be adopted by everyone in the future.

The exposition visit is broken down into four sections

Island Desires

The islands, tiny patches of earth scattered throughout the vastness of the Ocean, have always made mainlanders dream. The islands, with their white sand and coconut trees, are synonymous with adventure, escape, as well as the earthly paradise and sweetness of life defined by their isolation. On each island, the terrestrial and marine wildlife is extraordinary and unique. Tourism is also an important economic resource for the islanders.

Island hopping

The visitor discovers the special features shared by all islands, whether in tropical or cold waters: they are isolated, dependant on the Ocean and have limited resources. The visitor completes a world tour of islands and discovers that each must address a certain number of problems associated with insularity; how to find place to live, obtain drinking water and food, produce energy… From Haiti to the Seychelles, visitors meet the individuals responsible for preserving their land and marine resources necessary for their survival.

Fragile islands

The islands are particularly vulnerable to climate change. The visitor passes through a corridor where the water rises, a tidal wave engulfs a village – thus experiencing the islanders' anguish as the water rises. The Maldives government is sending a message to the international community by organising a Council of Ministers… underwater!

The islanders share their story

The island states are given the opportunity to speak. From island to island, those involved in island life share their experiences, their actions and solutions that they devise and implement to ensure their development by preserving their culture and their identity. The representatives of small island states address the international community. The dialogue initiated here with the islanders will continue on Nausicaa's animation platform where multimedia animations allows you to communicate with the islanders and to interact directly with them.