“The beauty of this land leads me to appeal for its preservation for future generations. If you love our native land, do not let this call go unanswered!”

Pope John Paul II


“Because we all share this small planet Earth, we have to learn to live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature. That is not just a dream, but a necessity”

14th Dalai Lama of Tibet

••• The Holy Father Pope John Paul II and His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso were so kind as to give their permission to use the above quotations in association with the display, giving their blessing to the Polish edition of the EARTH FROM ABOVE exhibition. •••

Bia造stok, Rynek Ko軼iuszki, August 7th – October 18th 2009



A portrait of the planet at the turn of the 21st century
Yann Arthus-Bertrand Photography

Bia造stok, Rynek Ko軼iuszki
August 7th – October 18th 2009
Outdoor exhibition
open 24/7
illuminated at night
admission free

Patronage over the exhibition:
Maciej Nowicki – Polish Minister of the Environment
Tadeusz Truskolaski – The City Mayor of Bia造stok
Polish Committee of UNESCO

The open-air exhibition “EARTH FROM ABOVE – A portrait of the planet at the turn of the 21st century” will be shown in Bia造stok from August 7th to October 18th, 2009. It is one of the most spectacular events in the whole history of photography. The French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, during 15 years of helicopter flights, has travelled tens of thousands of kilometres in order to capture the shots of the Earth's most beautiful nooks. The 123 large-scale (185x125cm) photographs are the outcome of his work. Now it is the exhibition that travels around the world: Paris, Tokio, Moscow, Sydney, Beirut, Montreal, Mexico City. In the 110 cities it has so far visited, EARTH FROM ABOVE has attracted over 120 million spectators, to which it has been an exceptional experience. The aerial photographs of the “heart” in Voh, the dromedary caravan in Mauritania, or the abstract landscape of the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park are impossible to forget. The exhibition has raised a global discussion on the subject of the Earth's and mankind's future.

2 million spectators have so far seen the exhibition in six Polish cities where it has been shown and over 2.4 thousand school groups have participated in the educational programme that accompanies the event. The spectators' opinions expressed in the guest books and the enthusiastic feedback from the media prove an unprecedented success of this artistic and educational project. The present edition has been enriched with new photographs, up-to-date information and Yann Arthus-Bertrand's texts on the current condition of our planet and the relation of man and the environment. Placed in the beautiful scenery of the renovated Rynek Ko軼iuszki, the exhibition is free of charge, available 24/7 and illuminated at night. Bia造stok, being the capital of one of Poland's greenest regions, is a perfect place to raise the topic of sustainable development and to promote the ecological attitude.

Now the Earth's heart beats in Bia造stok!

In 1995, Yann Arthus-Bertrand, a French photographer, took on a pioneer task of photographing the condition of the Earth at the turn of the 21th century and passing the latest knowledge of history, nature and geography of its most remote parts. The outcome of his work, which has been continuing for the last 10 years and is still being carried on, is the exhibition “EARTH FROM ABOVE. A portrait of the planet at the turn of 21th century”. It is composed of large format photos, where, aside of fabulous beauty of presented objects one may find the truth about humanity, about what endangers it and what may save it. With our own eyes we can see, that the planet Earth is in danger! The threats for our common good are multiplying – pollution of environment, overpopulation, natural disasters, wars... EARTH FROM ABOVE is a unique warning for every inhabitant of the planet.

Because the Earth, says the author, is the work of art, the photographer should only testify her unique beauty. The Exhibition got its unique character thanks to author's masterful technique. His marvelous photos, depicting real corners of the Earth, often look like abstract paintings. Also the outdoor form of the Exhibition and it's gigantic size is very impressive. The way in which Yann Arthus-Bertrand portrays the Earth shows her variety, richness and transience of her beauty. EARTH FROM ABOVE presents a new vision of the planet.


Warsaw, Royal ζzienki Park, June 7 – November 5, 2002


Yann Arthus-Bertrand wishes to leave the documentary for future generations, that, while inspiring admiration, will also inspire care for our planet. Because one only protects well what he knows well, says the author. EARTH FROM ABOVE exhibition is a result of patient and persistent search conducted during long journeys: 150 countries, more than 4000 hours spent in helicopter, hundreds of kilometers traveled to find the most spectacular sites and meaningful shots.

In Poland, the Exhibition has already been shown in four cities:
Warsaw – where it was displayed from June 7 to November 5, 2002 on the perimeter fence of the Royal Lazienki Park and the Botanical Garden.
Cracow – in the magical scenery of the Planty Park between Wawel Castle and Philharmonic Hall, from July 11 to November 3, 2003.
Poznan – from February 21 to May 8, 2004, in the East Hall of the Poznan International Fair Centre.
Zabrze – the open-air edition, from September 4 to November 3, 2004, in the Teatralny Square park and the winter edition, from November 4, 2004 to May 1, 2005 in the 19th century depot of Zabrze Steelworks.
Lodz – from May 10 to October 24, 2007 in beautiful Staromiejski Park – our new center of the town, between Manufaktura shoping mall and Piotrkowska street.
Bialystok – from August 7 to October 18, 2009 at Kosciuszko Square.

The half kilometer long outdoor display of large format photos (185 x 125cm), depicting the beauty of our planet seen from bird's view, has already been viewed on five continents, in 110 cities in the world by more than 120 millions of people. Having the record-breaking attendance also in Poland, this outdoor gallery was open free also in the nighttime in Warszawa, Krakow, Poznan and Zabrze and has been visited by more than two million Polish spectators. More than 10.000 students participated in the first edition of nationwide internet contest and about 5000 in the second (shorter) edition of the contest. 2400 school groups attended the educational programs organized at the Exhibition.

This artistic exhibition not only shows the beauty and uniqueness of our globe, but also motivates us to search for answers to difficult questions about it's future – encouraging us to consciously choose pro-ecological attitude in our daily life. Important aim of the exhibition is promotion of the idea of sustainable development and cultural openness. Earth seen from bird's eye view is most of all the transmission of great positive energy that comes from dealing with the beauty and diversity of our planet.


Cracow, July 11 - November 3, 2003


Photo display

The Exhibition comprises 122 large format photographs (125 x 185 cm), showing a bird's eye view of various landscapes of the Earth. Among them, there are places unchanged by civilization, but also depictions of human activity both – horrible mementoes (ex. a ghost town, desolate after the Chernobyl reactor failure) and those dazzling with their beauty, showing the sense of beauty and harmony hidden deeply within a man.
The photos are accompanied by author's scientific comments in three languages: Polish, French and English. They describe a given photograph, referring at the same time to major ecological, social and economic problems of our planet. It is those pictures and their captions that enable people not only to see some unusual faraway places but also feel that they are “part of this Universe and so much depends on us for the world to survive and remain in its beauty and majesty” (a visitor's own words).

Zabrze, Seprember 4, 2004 – May 1, 2005


The “world in numbers” panels and the “idea of sustainable development”

There are more than 20 panels placed throughout the Exhibition, showing the latest statistics on administrative divisions and exploitation of seas and oceans, world's reserve of drinking water and oil, overpopulation, poverty, global warming, world waste production and annual world expenditure on the arms race. Other panels expose positive applications of the idea of sustainable development, like information on the renewable energy sources and spectacular solutions for important social and ecological problems in various places of the world.


National Internet EARTH FROM ABOVE Competition

During the opening ceremony of the Poznan edition of the Exhibition on Febuary 21, 2004 an internet competition was also announced. It is aimed at those interested in environmental protection and, in particular, at students and schoolchildren over 12 years of age. The competition's goal is to awake the awareness of environmental issues on three levels: universal (our planet), European (our continent) and local (Poland, place of residence). Further information about the competition may be obtained at www.ziemiaznieba.eu/konkurs and www.centrumziemi.eu websites


Map of the world

With the help of our sponsors, 3M and PERI, a new map of the world (16 x 8 m) has been built to visualize the location of those fascinating places of the world where Yann Arthus-Bertrand took his photos. They are marked on the walk-on map together with their geographic co-ordinates. The map is a favorite playground for children, who learn geography and acquire knowledge about other cultures just by walking over it. It is also a lesson in integration – it helps to become aware of the fact that we are all citizens of the same planet.
To avoid damaging the map, visitors always remember to take off their shoes!


The Multimedia Pavilion

in the Multimedia Pavilion situated in an old Tramway station, visitors get advised about the ziemiaznieba.eu and yannarthusbertrand.org websites, which contain information about the Exhibition in Poland and in the world, as well as about the Honorary Board and the author Yann Arthus-Bertrand. There is also to be found an educational offer for schools especially prepared by the Exhibition organizers. Moreover, it provides current information on the state of the Earth, accounts of actions taken to better the condition of environment in Poland and worldwide. The site is daily visited, on average, by more than 500 people from all over Poland.
A 15-minute documentary film titled EARTH FROM ABOVE is also shown all day long in the Multimedia Pavilion. It shows Yann Arthus-Bertrand's helicopter photo session, with his comments and the story of the origins of this great project. In the Multimedia Pavilion, it is also possible to buy postercards and albums EARTH FROM ABOVE in Polish, French, Spanish and English versions.


Cooperation with Marek Kaminski Fundation

EARTH FROM ABOVE exhibition team took part in the “A School at the Pole” (“Szkola pod biegunem”) project accompanying the “Together to the Pole” expedition of Marek Kaminski (a member of the Honorary Board of the Exhibition) and Jas Mela in March 2004. The cooperation consisted in providing content for a lesson covering the influence of the greenhouse effect on icebergs and the idea of sustainable development. As during other editions, organizers are open to cooperate with other institutions and organizations, which in the region of Lodz work on diferent social, artistical and scientific projects and are ready to create – moved by the Exhibition and its themas – new competitions and programs for youngs. In that way, began a new cooperation with the Polish YMCA – in fotografic competition and other educational programs – and the European Regional Center of Ecohydrology (ERCE) in Lodz – which mission is to preserve the quality of water, biodiversity and sustainable solutions for ecosystems and social development.


The EARTH FROM ABOVE exhibition makes a breath-taking impact, evokes emotions and compels reflection on our attitude towards the Earth, showing it from a new, unknown perspective. We are presented with beauty and fragility of our planet, with our attention drawn to the richness and diversity of landscapes – both natural and man-made. This makes it not only an artistic event, but also a perfect tool for environmental education, unprecedented in Poland as far as range, scale and efficiency of influence is concerned, a tool to create a new vision of our future.

Poznan, February 21 – May 8, 2004