“We knows the surface of the Moon better than the bottom of our oceans”. This almost half-century-old maxim is still relevant in 2022, to the great regret of Yann Valton, president of the Galathéa association, organizer of the eponymous festival, which returns for its 7e edition, until Sunday, at the Casino Forum.
This international event around the underwater world is now firmly established in the landscape of Hyères. He tries “to show people, without forcing them to put their heads under water, what is happening below the surface, continues Yann Valton. It’s still three quarters of the planet and it keeps us alive. Posidonia produces 5 times more oxygen per square kilometer than the forest. Hence this festival which informs and allows us to go further…”
Neoprene recycling stand
Four days of meetings and exchanges, punctuated by photo and video competitions, screenings, conferences, symposiums and activities, “where each visitor will find something that interests him”. Ditto for professionals, associations and speakers present for the event (see opposite). “We realize that in the corridors of diving festivals a lot of meetings are made. They generate rallying points for people who work around the protection of the oceans, and raise awareness. It’s a showcase for everyone. The National Park is there, explaining all the work he does. a allows him to introduce himself. We will also have for example a neoprene recycling stand, where everyone can come and throw away and recycle their old wetsuit and give it a second life… The objective is to raise awareness in order to make known and show the beauty of the oceans, of the underwater world, as well as its fragility, and what threatens it. We feel that society is becoming aware of the state of things, the people have seen it with the heat this year.”
Young people targeted
Among the privileged targets of this awareness, the youngest of course, who will open the festival with a day and a half of opening just for them. “Schools are the first target. We welcome just over 1,000 students over two days. Classes from educational maritime areas come to present their work, we have many associations that popularize things. Young people are the easiest to raise awareness , they have noa priori and are curious. We will sow a seed of curiosity, then they will dig”, concludes Yann Valton. So for those who want to put their head under water without getting wet, go to the Forum.
Galathea Festival, Casino Forum. This Friday from 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Saturday November 19 from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 20 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Price: 5 euros, 3-day pass: 8 euros. Free for children under 14.
An enticing program
In addition to the many symposiums, conferences, film screenings and photo exhibitions, the meeting welcomes some big names in the underwater world. Starting today at the inauguration, by the sponsor of the event, Véronique and François Sarano, “highly reputed biologists”former scientific advisers for the team or Commander Cousteau.
“François Sarano is a reference on ocean issues, he has published numerous studies. He tells things wonderfully, and will present his work and his association, Longitude 181, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary on Friday (today) at 6:30 p.m. in the casino auditorium.
Another personality present, Henri Cosquer, who discovered the cave that bears his name in Marseille, and will come to present a conference with Thierry Felix, prehistorian, speleologist, diver, specialist in decorated caves (Sunday at 1:30 p.m.).
Also discover the “very nice underwater photos” by Greg Lecoeur (award winning photographer) and Pierre Frolla (freediving champion) or even the 36 association, institutional or professional stands and the artists, musicians and authors who will be there…