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Thursday, 11 November 2010
Lazhar Mansouri, Marc Garanger and Battle of Algiers
I'm on a bit of an Algerian film thing at the moment - having watched The Prophet, Hidden and Battle of Algiers in the last couple of months.
The Battle of Algiers reminds me of the photographs (top 3) by Lazhar Mansouri and in turn those of Marc Garanger (bottom 4), all of which are quite amazing.
In turn, Donald Weber's Interrogation pictures (see previous post) represent a different end of the spectrum as Marc Garanger's portraits, but without the baggage contained in Garanger's (or other colonialist/embedded) pictures - the meaning of which has unravelled and re-entwined with time - which is interesting in itself.
The quote below is from a Foto8 interview with Marc Garanger
In 1960, Marc Garanger, 25 and pressed into the French military service, found himself over the course of a fortnight making identity card portraits of 2000 women in occupied Algeria on the orders of his division commander. Each woman was photographed once, on a single frame, seated on a stool against a white wall. A language barrier prevented the photographer and subject from communicating verbally. But in these brief interactions were moments of extraordinary intensity; many of the women in the pictures glare at the camera, while others appear more placid. Even as they are literally being identified and cast as colonial subjects, they stare back, and so these pictures have come to be recognised as a celebration of pride and resistance in the face of power, dignity maintained under duress.