Pierre Cassou-Noguès

The Forest is Burning

On the spectacularization of devastating wild fires on social media

in The Art of the Working Class, september 2023

The fire broke out just over a year ago, on July 12, 2022, in the pine forest that borders the sea for about twenty kilometers between two small seaside resorts, Biscarrosse to the south and Le Pyla to the north. 

This is the beginning of the Landes forest in southwest France, which covers a total of one million hectares of pine trees. The forest was planted at the turn of the 19th century on what was then a vast expanse of sand dunes and marshland, sparsely populated and crossed only by shepherds and their flocks. With the arrival of the fashion of bathing in the sea, the forest transformed the desolate landscape into a small paradise, attracting idle and wealthy crowds who went on to build splendid villas among the gentle pine trees overlooking the blue sea.

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