Gilles Elkaim – project leader.
of birth: 9 June 1960
- French national
- Married, without children
- Master's degree in Physics
- Nuclear Physics DEA in 1983
- Physics teacher: in Australia (1985/87), in France (1989/92)
- Professional conference speaker since 1992
- Photographer (collaboration with Sipa-Press agency)
- Speleologist, Diver, Canoe-kayak instructor, Yachtmaster
- Languages spoken: English, Russian, Kalaallissut (language
spoken in West Greenland)
Gilles Elkaim is a physicist by training.
In 1984, he leaves the confort of civilization for a year's
stay in Greenland, integrating himself into the Inuit community,
hunting and fishing to feed his height sled dogs.
Since then, he is fascinated by distant
cultures and marvels at their adaptability to often hostile
environments. Cold as well as hot deserts soon become his
preferred terrain. His taste for effort associated with his
passion for exploration, photography and ethnography leads
him quite naturally towards the most marginal peoples of the
planet. In order to integrate himself as fully as possible
into these communities, he does not hesitate to learn their
language and share their life style.
Acustomed to the externe conditions of
filming and unconditional physical commitment, he seeks to
present an intimate character to his reports. His audiovisual
productions have been compensated by the Photographic Federation
of France and have gained him numerous prizes at festivals.
He is the author of the book "The Steppes Nomads" printed
by Boussole and publishes his reports in leading magazines.
EAST-CANADA, June, July, August 1998
4000 km by bicycle, crossing Labrador Quebec, Newfoundland,
Nova Scotia, New Brunswick.
MONGOLIA, July-August 1995, June-July
1996, February 1997
Journey by bicycle (2500 km), on horseback with the Tsaatan
and the Kazakhs and by camel in the Gobi desert. Report.
Six trips making a total of over one and a half years stay.
Lake Baïkal, winter expedition in Yakoutie and with the Evèneseof
mount Verkhoïansk, horseback riding and transhumance with
the Evènes of Kamtchatka, Kimandorskiye Island in the Bering
WEST AFRICA, October 1990 to April 1991
St.Malo – Niamey (Niger) on bicycle, 6000 km, including crossing
the Sahara desert. Solo journey by camel: 1200 km, Niger,
Mali, Burkina Faso.
GREENLAND, June to September 1990
Raid solitaire en kayak, Sondre-Stromfjord – Ilulissat.
NEPAL – INDIA, February to July 1988
6000 km on foot and by bicycle. Annapurna, Gange plain.
NEW-ZEALAND, November 1987 to January
North Island, South Island and Steward Island crossed on foot
and by bicycle.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA, September – October
Trek on foot: Kokoda trail and ascent of Mount Wilhelm (4510
m) Solo descent of Sépik river in a dugout.
AUSTRALIA, October 1985 to August 1987
Teacher at Sydney. Several trips through the country. Navigation
from Cairns to Darwin by yacht.
A year in a small Inuit village on the West coast. Learning
of the language and eskimo techniques, seal hunting, kayak,
wintering, dog training, fishing in ice fields, solo trek
with dog sled.
ICELAND, July and August 1983
North-South solo crossing on foot of central desert.
FRANCE, 1982-84, speleology, skiing,
Underground exploration of the Berger chasm right up to the
coast -1100 m.