Between 500 and 1,000 shipwrecks were recorded through the years around the Magdalen Islands, a small archipelago in the middle of the Gulf of St Lawrence. The descendants of the shipwrecks' survivors are still living on the islands today. They form a secluded and resilient English-speaking community in the predominantly French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec.
BBC Travel takes its viewers to these beautiful islands, following shipwreck hunter Charles Cormier and Nancy Clark, a young descendant of shipwreck survivors.
'A Tempestuous Island of 1,000 Shipwrecks' is a stunningly visual journey in search of the meaning of identity, cultural roots and life lived against all odds, in one of the most remote, fragile and stormy corners of North America.
BBC Travel is a feature section within BBC.com that offers high-quality content on destinations around the world that aim to amaze, immerse, inspire and connect. It is fuelled by new, unexpected and emotionally engaging stories from a global community of editors, writers, photographers and video journalists who provide a trusted perspective on the world of travel. We are independent, impartial and honest.
The island of 1,000 shipwrecks is the first of the 'To the Ends of the Earth' multimedia series, a successful BBC Travel experimental take on character led, highly visual and immersive stories. In each journey, the protagonists' voices create an emotional connection with the viewers, offering a new and sometimes magical perspective on the world.
This particular project on the shipwrecks was realized by a small team of two in the field, which led to a close relationship with the protagonists and gave the video the immediacy and candor of real life. The narrative was conceived in close collaboration with the protagonists of the film and with other people living on the island, who actively suggested locations, ideas and themes to explore. The result is an honest and stunningly beautiful portrait of these small islands and their inhabitants, who can inspire people around the world through their resilience, strong sense of identity and fierce love for a nature that is at the same time menacing, fragile and heartbreakingly beautiful.
This socially-optimized video gathered 1.4 million views on Facebook, over 600 people reacted to the post and 123 shared it. It set up a new format for immersive storytelling for BBC Travel (bbc.com/travel), which strives to push the boundaries of travel journalism with emotionally engaging narratives that go beyond the typical point-of-interest focused travel story. (A version of the video was also featured in a larger, multimedia presentation on BBC.com and as a standalone short documentary on the BBC World News TV channel.)
In a complex world of negative news and xenophobia at one extreme, and top 10 lists and substance-less roundups at the other, we've lost the experience and sheer joy of travel. BBC Travel aims to provide an antidote by celebrating the people, places and cultures that make this world so wonderfully diverse and amazing.
To do this, we tell stories with unexpected angles that haven't been covered before. Not only do we teach our readers something new, we change their perceptions about places and people. Through our travel stories, we connect readers to cultures around the world, and appeal to people who aren't travelling at the moment as much as those who are.
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