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From Torrent to Current

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In her book Du Torrent au Courant, des Barrages et des Hommes en Savoie (From Torrent to Current: Dam and Man in Savoy), photographer Céline Clanet documents the infrastructure of hydropower in the Beaufortain region of southeastern France: four dams and ten power plants. Set in the midst of bucolic hillsides and snowcapped peaks, these structural behemoths have had profound impacts on the surrounding terrain. With a documentarian eye, Clanet captures all facets of these dams and power plants—from their monumental exterior scales, to labyrinthine interior spaces, to caretakers—focusing on how infrastructure has merged with the natural and social landscape.

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  High mountain pastures, Saint-Guérin dam  Photo by: Céline Clanet
    High mountain pastures, Saint-Guérin dam

    Photo by: Céline Clanet

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  Jean-Pierre Blanc, high mountain farmer and cheesemaker  Photo by: Céline Clanet
    Jean-Pierre Blanc, high mountain farmer and cheesemaker

    Photo by: Céline Clanet

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  High mountain pastures, Saint-Guérin dam  Photo by: Céline Clanet
    High mountain pastures, Saint-Guérin dam

    Photo by: Céline Clanet

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  La Girotte dam  Photo by: Céline Clanet
    La Girotte dam

    Photo by: Céline Clanet

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  La Girotte, vaulting maintenance  Photo by: Céline Clanet
    La Girotte, vaulting maintenance

    Photo by: Céline Clanet

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  Nino Manfiotto, who worked at La Girotte in the 1940s  Photo by: Céline Clanet
    Nino Manfiotto, who worked at La Girotte in the 1940s

    Photo by: Céline Clanet

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  Hydraulic machine, Queige power plant  Photo by: Céline Clanet
    Hydraulic machine, Queige power plant

    Photo by: Céline Clanet

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  Engine room, La Bâthie power plant  Photo by: Céline Clanet
    Engine room, La Bâthie power plant

    Photo by: Céline Clanet

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  Valve room at the foot of the penstock, La Bâthie power plant  Photo by: Céline Clanet
    Valve room at the foot of the penstock, La Bâthie power plant

    Photo by: Céline Clanet

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  Roseland dam, Méraillet buttresses  Photo by: Céline Clanet
    Roseland dam, Méraillet buttresses

    Photo by: Céline Clanet

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  Roselend dam  Photo by: Céline Clanet
    Roselend dam

    Photo by: Céline Clanet

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  The lower face of Roselend dam  Photo by: Céline Clanet
    The lower face of Roselend dam

    Photo by: Céline Clanet

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  Service entrance to La Gittaz dam  Photo by: Céline Clanet
    Service entrance to La Gittaz dam

    Photo by: Céline Clanet

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  La Girotte dam's buttresses  Photo by: Céline Clanet
    La Girotte dam's buttresses

    Photo by: Céline Clanet

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    Photo by: Céline Clanet

    Photo by: Céline Clanet

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  At the foot of the vaulting, Roselend dam  Photo by: Céline Clanet
    At the foot of the vaulting, Roselend dam

    Photo by: Céline Clanet

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  La Girotte dam in winter  Photo by: Céline Clanet
    La Girotte dam in winter

    Photo by: Céline Clanet

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  The lower face of a vaulting structure at La Girotte dam  Photo by: Céline Clanet
    The lower face of a vaulting structure at La Girotte dam

    Photo by: Céline Clanet

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  Lower face of Saint-Guerin dam  Photo by: Céline Clanet
    Lower face of Saint-Guerin dam

    Photo by: Céline Clanet

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  Jean-Pierre Blanc near the Roselend dam  Photo by: Céline Clanet
    Jean-Pierre Blanc near the Roselend dam

    Photo by: Céline Clanet

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  A hydraulic machine at the La Bâthie power plant  Photo by: Céline Clanet
    A hydraulic machine at the La Bâthie power plant

    Photo by: Céline Clanet

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  Inside La Bâthie's control room  Photo by: Céline Clanet
    Inside La Bâthie's control room

    Photo by: Céline Clanet

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  Access tunnel to the starting valves between La Bâthie power plant and Roselend damDon't miss a word of Dwell! Download our  FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!   Photo by: Céline Clanet
    Access tunnel to the starting valves between La Bâthie power plant and Roselend dam

    Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!

    Photo by: Céline Clanet

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