All posts tagged: French

The lasting effects of World War Two in Veterans

A young boy who became a French resistance fighter as just a teenager; a German fighter who lost an arm; a Kazakhstani field nurse; an Indian deployed to fight the Japanese in Burma; a Holocaust survivor who is today a Donald Trump supporter. Sasha Maslov’s photobook Veterans travels the world to meet with some of the last surviving servicemen and women of the Second World War, a conflict whose impact is still being felt some seven decades after the conflict finished.

2017-08-16T14:24:18+00:00

Frantz Fanon’s psychology of race, in photographs

In 2015, the cross-pollination of races occurs freely and globally. Yet it is easy to overlook the complex process of identification that a mixed-race person must confront. For in each race’s DNA is a history, culture and psychology that are all too-often defined in isolation. In his most recent series, Frantz Fanon, which tracks the life of the iconic 20th century thinker, Bruno Boudjelal has continued his career tradition of using photography to untangle the rich web of his own mixed identity. Frantz Fanon is widely regarded as the definitive post-colonial theorist. Born in Martinique, he traveled to France to fight in the Second World War before settling in North Africa, working as a psychiatrist in a small town, Blida, 50 miles from the Algerian capital. It was here, in the years leading up to both its release and Fanon’s death in 1961, that he wrote his chilling account of the psychological effects of colonialism and decolonization on the native Algerian population, Les Damnés de la Terre – ‘The Wretched of the Earth.’   “For …

2015-11-05T19:31:02+00:00

Symbolic portraits locating femininity between two cultures

Ritual, family heritage and decorative costumes are at the heart of Marie Hudelot’s series of portraits. Dressing her subjects with jewels, feathers, flowers and ribbons, she explores themes of femininity, honour, seduction and youthfulness. “I wanted to create a set of symbolic portraits inspired by my background,” explains Hudelot, born in Toulon in 1981. “My mother is Algerian and my father is French. I used the pictorial tradition of still life and created characters where the objects [they hold or wear] come from different customs.” The series is partly inspired by the 1983 Woody Allen mockumentary Zelig, about a man (played by Allen) who changes his character to fit in with the people around him. “This film was a reference in that I wanted to create caricatures, but not in a critical way,” she explains. “The idea was to suggest different characters.” One of the central themes running through the work is the notion of femininity. “Growing up, I learned different things about what it means to be a woman,” says Hudelot. “For example, in Algerian culture, women often have …

2015-10-19T10:44:11+00:00

The democratic defacement of French political posters

During France’s presidential election in 2012, Pascal Fellonneau began photographing election posters obsessively. “I had occasionally photographed them before, but when I saw posters everywhere in the runup to the last election, I decided to start a new body of work,” says the 46 year old, who divides his time between Paris and Bordeaux. “I took daily walks looking for bills posted around Paris.” It was both an exercise in portrait photography and a way of documenting French politics. Rather than deliberately making the politicians into parody by using a wide-angle lens to create distortion, Fellonneau comes in close, framing their faces tightly. Despite this, “they look like caricatures due to they way they have been displayed and intervened upon”. The posters are often ripped, crinkled or defaced: eyes are occasionally blacked or scratched out, and some of the posters have been covered in paint or have been drawn on. “There is a tradition in France of drawing glasses, moustaches, beards or penises on posters of politicians’ faces. I think it’s a symptom of the mistrust people have of politics. People sometimes …

2015-10-06T11:19:58+00:00

BJP Staff