Anne Rearick — “Township”
L’OEIL URBAIN FESTIVAL
20-22 rue Félicien-Rops – Corbeil-Essonnes
From April 1 to May 22, 2022
For nearly 10 years now, L’Œil Urbain photography festival in Corbeil-Essonnes has been exploring themes related to new urban realities. For its 10th edition, l’Œil Urbain explores the forms of commitment – to individuals, to the environment, and simply to the world in which we live – through a dozen or so exhibitions in the form of a photographic journey through the city.
Agence VU’ is largely associated with this tenth edition through the exhibitions of Rip Hopkins, Guillaume Herbaut, Darcy Padilla and Anne Rearick.
“My work in South Africa came about by chance. While exploring amateur boxing in the United States and abroad, I was led to visit the Luyviso Club, housed in an old converted community house in Khayelitsha, a township 40 kilometers from Cape Town.
Since 2004, I have visited the traditionally black townships of Langa, Khayelitsha, Philippi, and Gugulethu more than a dozen times. I photographed overcrowded classrooms, the emergency room of a public hospital, young thriving churches, the streets of rough neighborhoods, and the homes of those who live there. My photographs were a testament to the perseverance of these South Africans who, despite endemic violence, deep economic distress and ever-present racism, have maintained their dignity, hope and courage. There, away from the cities where tourists and businessmen flock, in these townships teeming with life, I found in the people I photographed beauty, strength, and humanity in all its contradictions: a preacher’s sermon before a captivated congregation, a couple’s embrace in love at dusk, Sindi’s pride in her traditional Xhosa dress, the pain of mourning at the funeral of a young Sotho man, the shocking marks of violence on a woman’s battered face and body, the poetry and grace of a young girl dancing on a balmy Sunday afternoon.
From my first project (on Basque life and culture in southwestern France) to this one, I have worked in the tradition of humanist photographers, such as Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans, striving to make images that evoke empathy and change the social gaze.”
– Anne Rearick