7th Angkor Photo Festival Pokambor Avenue Siem Reap (CAMBODIA)
From 2011-11-19 to 2011-11-26
• Slide Show on 19, 20, 22, 25 November at 8.30 pm
The first sketch of my work is not a political choice, but rather a choice made out of love. I fell in love with Egypt while I was there. During my first stay, I discovered the pleasures of oriental-style luxury, evenings spent on the banks of the Nile, music and the smell of the oleanders but, on the other hand, I was suffocating. I decided to focus on the working class area of Gamaleya. I discovered the people, their homes, their working conditions. It was like Zolaâ€™s novel Germinal in the late 20th century. Incredibly tough workshops, metal foundries where there were fifteen or so workers all crammed into a tiny space. But, at the same time there was this camaraderie of a kind Iâ€™ve rarely come across before. There was I, screaming out my hatred of the whole world, and they were smiling. I found myself among sages, angels and damned souls. These workers have been taken as models by the greatest Egyptian writers, such as Naguib Mahfouz and Albert Cossery. I wanted to show their faces. The faces people laugh at, the faces people despise, the faces of people who have nothing but often have far more than I do, as all I have is my anger urging me to rise up against their poverty. My view of Egypt and her people has not changed since my first trip in 1992. I am still interested in the same people. They are the ones who are important to me, they are the ones I am throwing light upon. I have chosen to sublimate them through a meticulous process of contextualisation and perspective. Each figure, each still life or landscape allows me to secure these choices.