Slideshow Items

Jean-Marie Donat

Ne m’oublie pas


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Ne m’oublie pas –No name on the back of the image, no nationality, no date either. Identity photos, large-format photos in studio poses, retouched and pastelized portraits… This book was born of Jean-Marie Donat’s discovery of the photographic collection of Studio Rex, located in Marseille’s working-class Belsunce district, which is essentially made up of photos of migrants from North and West Africa.

These include :
– portfolio photos, family photos taken in the country of origin, waiting to be copied and sometimes colorized by the studio;
– identity photos taken for administrative purposes, such as applying for a residence permit;
– studio photos, in the style of Malick Sidibé’s photographs, taken in France to be sent to relatives back home.

These photos remained in the store’s archives, as the migrants often didn’t have time to pick them up before leaving town, in a hurry to take up a job elsewhere in France.

The juxtaposition, selection and assembly of the 700 photographs, together with the testimonies gathered by author Souâd Belhaddad, offer several overlapping points of view, blurring the boundary between the public and the private, between the history of these men and women in transit and that of a country: administrative photography, which nevertheless reveals the intimacy of the faces in a close-up shot; a photograph of representation, full-length, which is valorizing, but whose repetitive staging over the course of the photos shows its fragility; and a photograph of intimacy, which is nevertheless copied and modified.

Ne m’oublie pas reweaves the broken dialogue between the two shores of the Mediterranean, by contrasting photos brought from the country of origin with those taken in France for relatives back home.

  • date of publication : June 2023
  • language : FR
  • pages : 352 p.
  • format : 24 x 17 x 4
  • binding : Paperback, softcover with flaps
  • ISBN : 9791095821601
  • publishers : delpire & co
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