Back to blog

Interactive Documentary Archive

6 milliards d’Autres (6 billion Others)

Tags: , , ,

By: Yann Arthus-Bertrand
Project type: CD-ROM collaborative DVD Installation locative Web


6 billion Others is a massive video exhibition (and a web project) done by Yann Arthus-Bertrand (he is the one that did the incredible photos in “Earth  from above” back in 1994 ).

In 2003 Yann Arthus-Bertrand had the idea of doing a ‘portrait of contemporary mankind by asking questions about universal values’.

Arthus-Bertrand and his team wrote a series of questions – on the lines of “What is happiness? What lessons can we learn from life’s difficulties? What is the meaning of life?”- and travelled the world for 5 years visiting 75 countries and interviewing 5,000 people. The massive database of answers was then used to do both an exhibition (from the 10th of January to the 12th of Febrruary 2009 at the Grand Palais in Paris) and a collaborative website where people can view the interviews but also send their own answers to the questions.

The exhibition is meant to travel the world. The interviews are organised by themes, each theme beeing in a room  (or a hut). People can browse around and be immersed in an exhibition where “real” people from all aver the world speak about their own beliefs and fears.

The website is more like a browsable fresco. An overwhelming mosaic of clickable faces allows us to follow people, topics or texts. I highly suggest to see the French part of the website (as the English one is an old version and is not as well designed).

Find out more:

See the French website of 6 milliard d’Autres

See the English website of 6 billion Others

Watch a video of how the exhibition at the Grand Palais was put together

My comments:

I believe this is a fascinating project, not only by scale but by its affective impact. I have not been to the exhibition myself, but I have friends that have spent hours transfixed by the grabs of 6 millions d’Autres. I suspect there is something magic about listening to a world of people that one will probably never meet, especially if what they say is very personal.

The interviews were cleverly shot with a standard portrait framing (by tilting the camera horizontally) which gives a photographic touch to the experience. Also, this type of shot brings a feeling of proximity and presence that is quite powerful.

The website is a stand alone project which obviously uses the same database used for the exhibition. I suspect though that the feeling is very different. The web experience is more about browsing and collaborating, while I assume the exhibition is more immersive.

Although the whole project is a little commercial and simplistic (can we really claim to do a portrait of contemporary manking by selecting 5,000 people?) I believe it is very strong. One cannot but feel whowed by it… so many faces, so many stories, so many different lifes… for one second the multiplicity of our lives seems to be graspable.

  • Share/Bookmark

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

Report incorrect/missing information


  1. On November 19th, 2012 at 21:33 Serena wrote:

    Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and everything. Nevertheless imagine if you added some great graphics or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and video clips, this blog could certainly be one of the very best in its field. Good blog!

  2. On November 25th, 2012 at 12:20 Jeremiah wrote:

    Everything is very open with a precise explanation of the challenges. It was really informative. Your site is extremely helpful. Many thanks for sharing!

  3. On November 27th, 2012 at 16:42 Marty wrote:

    Heya outstanding website! Does running a blog like this require a lot of work? I’ve no knowledge of coding but I was hoping to start my own blog in the near future. Anyway, if you have any recommendations or techniques for new blog owners please share. I understand this is off topic nevertheless I just had to ask. Thank you!

  4. On November 28th, 2012 at 15:11 Trista wrote:

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was wondering what all is required to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very internet savvy so I’m not 100% positive. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Cheers

  5. On April 26th, 2013 at 20:56 Jenni wrote:

    Spot on with this write-up, I actually feel this website needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be returning to see more, thanks for the info!

  6. On October 19th, 2013 at 04:43 Black Hat SEO Upload Service wrote:

    Hey do you guys need a new Black Hat SEO Upload Service? Check out my website and upload files 500mb or less and use them for up to 1 month!

  7. On November 30th, 2016 at 01:12 baume du tigre utilisation wrote:

    Hello very good post, I just checking the post trying to find an inspiration or an attractive information. Serious article, express thanks for sharing. Eddith

  8. On December 27th, 2016 at 10:21 vinit keshav bihar wrote:

    We started this business 2 year before as a individual consultant but now we have explored our business service in all over Indian sub continental for this we would like to thank Vinit Keshav (SEO Manager) who make this possible and enlist this business among top SEO Service provider of india.

  9. On January 15th, 2017 at 14:44 [主页] wrote:

    Hey there. I want to to ask a little something…is this a wordpress web log as we are planning to be transferring over to WP. Additionally did you make this template all by yourself? Many thanks.

  10. On November 28th, 2017 at 17:29 click wrote:

    I want to show some thanks to the writer for bailing me out of this setting. Just after researching throughout the search engines and meeting ways which were not pleasant, I thought my entire life was well over. Living minus the answers to the problems you have resolved as a result of your site is a serious case, and the ones that would have negatively damaged my career if I hadn’t noticed your web blog. Your main know-how and kindness in handling every part was priceless. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I had not come across such a subject like this. I can also at this point look ahead to my future. Thanks for your time very much for the skilled and sensible guide. I will not be reluctant to suggest your web sites to any person who should get guidelines about this topic.

Add commment:

This website is now closed and will stay for reference purposes only. Please follow me on my new blog: