UNG:DOX
The Cloud People

The Cloud People

Iulian Furtuna, Marius Lena & Marius Lena / Frankrig & Barbados / 2024

At the beginning of the 20th century, a Japanese scholar, Abe Masanao, devoted his life to filming and studying clouds around the world. A century later, as if in echo, major campaign of observation of the clouds takes place, on the island of Barbados, in the Caribbean. Scientists from all over the world are involved.What do we know about clouds? About their birth and death? About their role in climate change? So little.Through the successes and failures of the campaign, Barbadians and climatologists explore the fascination that clouds inspire.

By the time mankind is beginning to experience the first significant effects of climate change announced for decades by scientists, a major scientific campaign of clouds observation is taking place in the Caribbean, bringing together researchers from all over the world. It is no longer a question of preventing the warming of the atmosphere, but of knowing precisely what will be the scale of it. Within this research, the role of clouds is still the biggest unknown since we don’t know if they will increase or dampen the warming.
The tiny island of Barbados, where the campaign is taking place, is at the forefront of the challenges ahead.
Torn between the dramatic issues of global warming, over which they have very limited control, and their passion for clouds, the researchers are striving to complete their campaign, aptly named EUREC4A. Despite the seriousness of their predictions, the behaviour of their fellow citizens, in Barbados or elsewhere, is not really changing; so why do they go on with their research? How do they see the future? What is our relationship with the planet and what is our place on it? Beyond its effective consequences, the advent of global warming is forcing them to ask more crucial questions than ever.
Through the successes and failures of the campaign, Barbadians and climatologists explore the fascination that clouds inspire.
Somewhere between science, history and poetry, they draw a composite portrait of research.