Opening to the public on January 13, the exhibition showcases the captivating work of photographer and documentary filmmaker Rodrigo Thomé, whose underwater images possess the remarkable ability to evoke a sense of wonder, connecting viewers to a mesmerizing world waiting to be unveiled.
The photographs, drawn from Thomé’s global oceanic expeditions, will cover more than 143 m2 of printed photos at AquaRio, setting a global record in marine exhibitions as the largest display of underwater images by a single artist.
The Rio Marine Aquarium, chosen as the venue, aligns with Rodrigo Thomé’s and UNESCO’s mission to raise awareness about marine life conservation and promote citizen action to protect our planet’s largest ecosytem. Rodrigo Thomé, along with fellow documentary filmmaker Rodrigo Cebrian, directs the EUceano project, a significant part of which is reflected in this exhibition.
“I believe that my mission is to open windows that bring humanity closer to the sea and its creatures,” said Rodrigo Thomé, author of the exhibition.
The collaboration between EUceano, IMAM (Marine Aquarium Museum Institute of Rio de Janeiro), UNESCO, the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030 (The Ocean Decade), and AquaRio aims to bridge the gap between humanity and the sea.
“The exhibition ‘A window to the ocean’ is extremely important to connect people with the sea in all its immensity and provide more knowledge to understand the relevance and urgency of preserving the oceans. UNESCO has spared no effort for the implementation of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, but we must remember that we need to act together, and that the oceans are important for our lives and for the entire planet,” said Marlova Jovchelovitch Noleto, Director and Representative of UNESCO in Brazil.
More than an exhibition, a Call to Action
Rodrigo Thomé sees his mission as opening windows that bring humanity closer to the sea and its creatures. He believes that creating knowledge, empathy, and love for the ocean is crucial, especially in light of UNESCO’s efforts towards the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
The exhibition not only serves as a visual delight but also contributes to raising awareness and calling on visitors to act. Rodrigo Thomé emphasizes the need to overcome historical narratives that have kept humanity distant from the seas. He strives to use images, videos, and practical actions to create empathy and love for the ocean.
For Rafael Franco, marine biologist and technical manager of AquaRio, the partnership aligns with their priorities of ocean conservation and environmental education. AquaRio was founded with the purpose of bringing humans and nature closer together, promoting sustainable development.
The exhibition invites the public to embark on a journey of knowledge, connection, and empathy, challenging preconceived notions about the ocean. The collaborative efforts of Rodrigo Thomé, EUceano, and AquaRio aim to reshape the perception of the sea and inspire a deeper appreciation for its importance.
Rodrigo Thomé and Rodrigo Cebrian are currently engaged in the “EUceano” project, a 10-year initiative aligned with the UN’s Ocean Decade. Broadcasting on channels Off and Modo Viagem, the project, in partnership with UNESCO and the Ocean Decade, seeks to enhance understanding, respect, and protection of the sea and its creatures. Additionally, a collaboration between EUceano and UNESCO’s Ocean Mondays on global social media channels offers weekly videos featuring facts, curiosities, and inspirations related to the ocean.