In 2021 Festisub went for a new look and moved outdoors, taking the form of a free open-air exhibition, Exposub, which was held on Quai Ostervald in Neuchâtel from 24 June to 29 August. This festival of underwater imagery was open to everyone, offering them an opportunity to engage with 17 photographs that were selected by the Festisub committee and had proven to be favourites in previous years. The images were printed in giant format and shone a spotlight on creatures that live underwater, in ocean depths as well as bodies of fresh water.
In addition to the photographic exhibition, Exposub featured informative and explanatory video content on a website. Photographers’ explanations, opinions expressed by interested parties and scientific accounts contributed to describing each of the photographs in a unique and original way.
Despite its revised format, the new-look Festisub retained the same values and objectives as its previous incarnations: on one hand to protect the environment and promote an awareness of underwater life, and on the other to share rich and aesthetic cultural content.
The Save Our Seas Foundation (SOSF) supported Exposub as title sponsor in 2021 alongside the Blancpain watch brand. Persuaded by Festisub’s new approach of targeting the general public, the foundation was happy to champion this summer exhibition on the theme of underwater wildlife. Raising public awareness of the beauty of the oceans has been at the heart of the Swiss foundation’s mission for almost 18 years.
From the 17 images making up the official selection, the SOSF chose three – representing humpback whales, turtles and sharks and rays – and asked three internationally renowned scientists who are specialists in these species to comment on the image from an informed point of view. The resulting videos are accessible via the QR code printed next to the large-format image at the exhibition venue or on the event’s website. By shedding scientific light on these breathtaking images, the videos are a modern way of sharing knowledge in order to better preserve species that may be threatened by pollution, habitat degradation or overfishing.