Collection by Diana Budds

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.

High mountain pastures, Saint-Guérin dam
Jean-Pierre Blanc, high mountain farmer and cheesemaker
High mountain pastures, Saint-Guérin dam
La Girotte dam
La Girotte, vaulting maintenance
Nino Manfiotto, who worked at La Girotte in the 1940s
Hydraulic machine, Queige power plant
Engine room, La Bâthie power plant
Valve room at the foot of the penstock, La Bâthie power plant
Roseland dam, Méraillet buttresses
Roselend dam
The lower face of Roselend dam
Service entrance to La Gittaz dam
La Girotte dam's buttresses
At the foot of the vaulting, Roselend dam
La Girotte dam in winter
The lower face of a vaulting structure at La Girotte dam
Lower face of Saint-Guerin dam
Jean-Pierre Blanc near the Roselend dam
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