Greenpeace object to peoples choice award

A news story that popped into my mailbox yesterday is the development of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

Greenpeace are objecting to a picture that won the people’s choice award by photographer Alain Mafart Renodier.

The reason for the objection is that the now respected wildlife photographer, helped bomb a Greenpeace ship 31 years ago.
He is better known to activists as Alain Mafart, and was a former French secret service agent who helped blow up the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in Auckland in 1985.

The Transformation from secret service to wildlife photographer has angered and shocked Greenpeace, not least because the French attack on the Rainbow Warrior killed Fernando Pereira, a Portuguese photographer.
John Sauven, Exe director of Greenpeace UK told the Sunday Times “He killed an environmental photographer in an act of state sponsored terrorism”

Of course, artistically, the image is of supreme style, grace and substance, however Greenpeace argues that voters should be aware of Mafart’s past and have called for the image to be withdrawn from the competition.

Rainbow Warrior was blown up by the French secret service with limpet mines in July 1985.
The attack was intended to halt protests at France’s nuclear warhead testing programme on the Plynesian atoll of Mururoa.
Mafart helped deliver the limpet mines to plant on the ship and was one of two military officers convicted in New Zealand of Manslaughter, servicing just two years.

About Julian Claxton

My passion for photography is supported by experiences gained on exciting travel adventures and through working for fantastic photographers. In 2006, I made the exciting step of realising my dream of becoming a freelance photographer. Since this pivotal moment, I have held numerous exhibitions, been featured nationally & internationally in print and won numerous awards, including being a finalist in the National Geographic Photographic competition in 2013 with one of my documentary images from the Sudan. From an early age I began to enjoy taking pictures of my daily life, basking in the thrill of sending the film to the printers and eagerly awaiting the pocket sized prints. My first foray into the world developing and printing strangely began at school when I was asked to produce a descriptive photo for the school newspaper. A front page shot later and I was destined to start the long arduous journey of becoming a photographer. In between exciting travel adventures and working for fantastic photographers, I graduated from college and at a crossroads in my journey to becoming a pro photographer, I embarked on a career working as a medical photographer. Learning new skills and dabbling in video production as well as progressing design skills, I yearned for the challenge and freedom of becoming a freelance. I have been fortunate enough to work on some amazing assignments which have included shooting a documentary assignment with an air ambulance, gaining full access to a British Pro cycling team during an international UCI tour, cycling to Rwanda and creating a photographic documentary of my journey. The experiences continue to grow, meeting wonderful people to photograph and telling the story of their journey. The list of events and striking moments that have played out through my viewfinder continue to grow and provide me with ever increasing snapshots of life to capture. One of the highlights of my career thus far has been staying in rural Uganda, teaching photography to the kids from the region, in a project I set up in late 2014, entitled ‘Give a child a camera’. The basis of the project is to supply 35mm cameras and film to the rural schools in this region of East Africa, teaching the children how to shoot photographs. After a week of taking photos of their life, an exhibition is held at the school and the children leave with their very own album, camera and film. One of the images I shot at Eden school in rural Uganda, during morning chapel won the 2015 Travel Media Tourism and Photography award. A great honour and one that I wouldn’t have picked up had it not been for the wonderful children of East Africa. For further information please visit
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