Few photographers have had the courage and constancy of Olivier Coulange who, since 1989, has been accompanying the homeless, watching them struggle and testifying while living with them, at the Salvation Army and in the streets. To publish a small part of this immense documentation of the misery of this end of century in France, words were needed. But not an umpteenth report, however well-intentioned and skillfully written. Literature was needed.
Jérôme Charyn saw Olivier Coulange’s photographs. Then he wrote. The commitment, in substance as much as in form, that both authors manifest in these pages is perhaps a message of hope. Without illusions. A way of saying obviously that it is not bearable, a way of saying also that it is perhaps not inevitable.