Mélanie Johnsson


Stories from behind the scenes...

Resources: 3 pioneers to inspire you

Image: Google images.

Image: Google images.

Jacques Cousteau

The legendary oceanographer (1910-1997)

You might have recognised French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau from this picture, with his famous red hat, his large specs and even larger smile. But Cousteau was more than this popular image: He was an explorer, a conservationist, a scientist, a diver, an author, a filmmaker and more...Passionate about the oceans and its marvels, he spent most of his life uncovering new marine species, new diving technologies and shining a light on the beauty of the underwater world. A true icon and my favourite explorer.

To watch:

  • The Silent World (1956) by Jacques Cousteau, Louis Malle.
  • The life Aquactic with Steve Zissou (2004) by Wes Anderson.
  • The Odyssey (2016) by Jérôme Salle


Image: Google images.

Image: Google images.

Bessie Coleman

The badass pioneer (1892-1926)

In the early twenties, Bessie Coleman became the first African-American woman to earn a pilot license, breaking all kind of barriers and making her a true badass (she had to move to France and learn french to get her license, as she had been denied entry to american flying schools). She soon specialised in stunt flying and parachuting and became renowned for her daring attitude: she would stop at nothing to complete a difficult stunt. Unfortunately, she died while performing one of her stunts at an aerial show in Florida. She was only 34 years old.

To read:

  • Up in the Air: The Story of Bessie Coleman (1996) by Philip S. Hart
  • She Dared To Fly: Bessie Coleman (1997) by Dolores Johnson.
Image: Google images.

Image: Google images.

Amelia Earhart

The intrepid pilot  (1897-1937)

Who hasn't heard of the fantastic Amelia Earhart? Born in America with a true spirit of adventure, Amelia took her first flying lesson in 1921 and never looked back. Almost ten years later, she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, from Canada to Ireland. She spent her life promoting opportunities for women in aviation and breaking records herself, until she couldn't do so anymore. In 1937, she attempted to be the first pilot ever to circumnavigate the globe, but her plane disappeared above the Pacific Ocean...

The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do.” - Amelia E.

To watch:

  • Amelia Earhart: The Final Flight (1994) by Yves Simoneau.
  • Amelia (2009) by Mira Nair.

Hope you enjoyed reading about these pioneers...

Go ahead, be curious, and go look for more information about them on the web!