The Champs-Elysees may be empty, with a strict pandemic curfew in place across France, but the shops have been leaving their signs on all the same.
And so a few months ago a parkour collective decided to take matters into its own hands. With members using their gymnastic abilities to climb walls and scaffolding to turn off the illuminated signs, the Paris-based On The Spot collective is just one of a number of parkour collectives around France trying to raise awareness about light pollution and energy consumption as part of the Lights Off movement.
“Turning off the lights is a symbolic message about the basic efforts that businesses should be making,” said Kevin Ha, a 28-year-old completing his PhD in oceanography and the leader of On the Spot. “It’s not the efficiency of the operation that matters. Obviously we cannot turn off all the lights in Paris, but we hope to show how even small actions can make a difference.”