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Agence VU - Philippe Brault
Philippe Brault

French photographer and director, member of Agence VU since 2011, lives and works mainly in Paris.

Philippe Brault begins photography in the 1980s in Lebanon, where he testifies to the civil war and its consequences on the population. He then develops for press or NGOs, a documentary work on the political, economic, social, health or climatic violence done to civilians throughout the world from Guatemala to Indonesia via Egypt or Kosovo. Far from any misery, Philippe Brault also testifies to the hope carried by Barack Obama's candidacy for the american presidency or by the fight against polio in Nigeria.

"If the stakes are still political, Philippe Brault's photography cannot, however, be limited to its journalistic purpose alone, the question of the time of the shooting being considered independently of the media event. His approach, his aesthetic are fully in the vein of a new documentary, always more poetic and distant."writes Joana Anisten.

It is through this filiation of long-term reporting that he considers new forms of multimedia production that lead the viewer into a new journalistic experience: in co-production with journalist David Dufresne for "Prison Valley" (2011), and "Fort McMoney" (2013), or in co-production Radio France and Upian for "Le jeu des 1000 histoires" (2013). He also produced audiovisual reports for Arte and Quark Productions: "Muslim prison chaplain" in 2015 and in 2016 "Justice for Chad" (co-directed with Anne Poiret and Alex Cardon).

Since 2011, Philippe Brault's photographic gaze brings to light more everyday situations : he paints a portrait of contemporary France notably through the Jeu des 1 000 euros for France Inter, and depicts the world of work with assignments for institutions or companies. In France, he covers the social movements of 2016 ("Nuit debout" social movement, labor reforms, states of emergency), thus opening up a wider documentation work on the relationship - militant or dissenting - of citizens to politics.

  Travelling : Paris, France



Tokyo's streets after the Coronavirus outbreaks (2020)

Philippe Brault was in Tokyo at the beginning of March, at a pivotal time when the Covid-19 virus is already circulating around the world but the containment measures we know today have not yet been taken. Despite the presence of the virus in the peninsula as early as January, the number of positive cases remains relatively low in the first half of March. As everywhere in Asia, the wearing of masks is usual but the alleys of Yoyogi Park are not empty and the inhabitants continue to go down in the streets. At the end of March, the Japanese capital experienced a rapid worsening of the epidemic. Politicians are issuing more and more warnings, but for the time being, the city is not...

«Only the outraged shall come in» (2016)

Though the year 2016 is still in its earlier months, numerous social movements have already emerged and seem here to last. Strikes against the labour reform, opposition to the state of emergency, #NuitDebout movement, denunciation of police brutality...not only are they times of exasperation and anger, they are also echoing a deeply anchored social contestation. The rising voices and movements convey a drive to put an end to the current atmosphere of fear, fed for years by the social and economical crisis and a growing mistrust of the political class. These mobilizations illustrate the coming together of the struggles and act the split with the traditional political representation...

Kano, Boko Haram's major strategic target in Nothern Nigeria (2014)

Since July 2014, the northern Nigerian city of Kano was six times under attacks of the islamist faction Boko Haram. The assault of the 17th of September killed 15 people and wounded 35. These deadly actions reflect the daily violence that Nigerian government is unable to stop. Second largest Nigerian city by population and local capital, Kano is a major strategic target for Boko Haram that seeks to spread its influence. The city embodies tensions between Abudja’s government, located in the Christian south, and northern areas with a majority of Muslim population where those jihadists are trying to rise up. If the last Kano slaughter was committed in the name of the “rejection of Western...

Canada, Fort McMurray (2014)

A disproportionate city, a boomtown, a polluted city: Fort McMurray, Alberta (Canada) is the largest energetic project on earth. Here, in the north of Canada, more than a million and a half of oil barrels are extracted every day day (five millions in 2030). A great deal of the planet's energy development fate is at stake. Between people who are in favor of the black gold and its opponents, tensions are rising. Here we are talking billions of dollars, of energetic independency and of ethics choices with almost no return. Canada holds the third largest oil reserve in the world. Over a few years, the city has grown from tens of thousands to more than of hundred thousand inhabitants....

On the road with the «Jeu des 1000€» (2013)

A portrait of contemporary France through its oldest daily radio-show: "Le jeu des 1000€". The show broadcast weekdays from 12.45 pm to 1.00 pm on France's national radio "France Inter". it is hosted by Nicolas Stoufflet and Yann Pailleret. The shows always starts with the host providing some local history and then introducing the two contestants, which have been selected right before the show. Philippe Brault spent six months following the “Jeu des 1000€” radio-team that travels throughout France broadcasting from different locations. He captured the hosts' every day's little habits, their anxiety of having to face an empty audience and to have the right word for the right...

USA, Prison Valley (2010)

Prison Valley is a story on the industry of punishment, on the Colorado valley « Out of sight, out of mind », which centralises in a few square miles all of America’s contradictions. From one prison to another, one discovers a real “under-world”. Jails, private sector, benefit, solitude, direct labour, inmates, poverty, crime, always and forever… Prison Valley is a photographic road-movie in a western city, where people are caught in their everyday routine, in their work, in boredom or pleasure, just like a vivid painting would do in a very still city. The families, the inmates, the staff of the prison, the sheriff … They all reveal, with reserve, the keys to this world which is theirs....

Dickinson College, USA (2009)

In 2008, Philippe Brault documented the life of Dickinson College, one of America's oldest university of liberal arts located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Between the dining hall, the classes, sports and religious practices, Philippe Brault portrays the well-established rituals of the American University, the typical campus, and the lifestyle of young Americans during their years of university.

Cairo forgotten persons (2009)

The buildings rest on the sand at the foot of Mount Sinaï. In the past, Haggana used to be a border. But today it is one of the largest slum of the city. In Cairo, 40% of the population lives in these "informal" areas, which feeds on the proliferation of the rural exodus that started in the 1960s. Power lines are buzzing in the sky above the roofs. Waste waters are leaking through the walls. Yet here, there is neither running water nor electricity. These hoods are Cairo's trash, where the recycling of the rubbish has become part of the economy. The majority of its inhabitants live in conditions of extreme precariousness and insalubrities. Only a few of them have access to healthcare,...

Pennsylvania, election week in USA (2008)

A week spent in one of the swing state of the American Presidential Elections: Pennsylvania.

An ordinary week in Guatemala City (2008)

Here, life is worth nothing. More than ten years after the peace agreement which put an end to the longest (36 years) and bloodiest civil war in Central America, the violence hasn't ceased in Guatemala, and remains the major preoccupation of the country's population. Guatemala has not finished counting its dead. In the capital alone, there has been an average of 20 murders per day since the beginning of the year. The streets of Guatemala City are amongst the most dangerous in the world. Hiring a hitman costs 100 Quetzals (10 Euros). There are an estimated 360,000 legal weapons and 2 million illegal weapons in circulation.

The Serbian memory of Kosovo (2008)

Under UN protection since June 1999, the Albanians of Kosovo have declared their independence on February 17,2008. “Since 1999 more than 200,000 Serbs have fled Kosovo and 22,000 have had to abandon their flats or houses in order to find refuge in nearby landlocked villages. And while Albanian villages are draped in flags and banners, resembling the aftermath of a national holiday, the Serbian ghettos sink in misery and despair. (...) Some Serbs dream of leaving, but in the Gorazdevac enclave as elsewhere, many more want to stay at all costs. Because of their dead, because of their land; this cradle which beckons them like an eternal grave”. Texte by Aline Maume, Geo magazine

Bitter Frontiers, Lebanon (2007)

On July 12, 2006, following the capture of two Israeli soldiers by the Hezbollah Shiite militia, Israel launched during 34 days, an intense bombing campaign in Lebanon. An Israeli land offensive that started on August 9, met a strong resistance from the Shiite militiamen. The toughest fights took place at the borders, in the village of Bent Jbeil. Journey back to Southern Lebanon seven months later.

Hurricanes, USA (2005)

One month after the passing of Katrina, the streets of New Orleans are strewn with rubbish and abandoned cars. The inhabitants have fled the city. Today some return to their homes and often find nothing worth keeping. Floods of dirty water coming from a score of sewage plants, continue to sweep in the city. It is estimated that 160 000 homes have sustained irreparable damage. On september the 24th, only a few weeks after Katrina, an other hurricane - Rita - arrived on the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico. And in a few hours, it wiped-out a region located farther west, between Texas and Louisiana.

Mullens, USA (2005)

“The heart and soul of America reside here, in West Virginia”. G.W Bush, September 2004. Located on the borders of the Appalachians Mountains, land of coal and hunting games, Mullens is a small town settled between a railroad and a river. 1800 souls, seven churches, no one outside. the city are a cross... and three loudspeakers, thanks to which the sound of chimes stream across the town, four times a day. The main street leads to the “Wyoming Hotel”, remnants of a past time. The closing of coal mines, replaced by open cut mines, threatened traditionnal industries, unemployment,and the troops being stuck in Irak....none of these aspects seem to have weighed in on the final...


Prison Valley

Prison Valley raconte cette industrie de la punition, cette vallée du Colorado, « loin des yeux, loin du cœur » qui concentre en quelques miles carrés toutes les contradictions de la société américaine.

D’une prison à l’autre, c’est un sous-monde que nous découvrons. Prison. Secteur privé. Rentabilité. Solitude. Main d’oeuvre. Détenus. Pauvreté. Criminalité. Toujours, et encore.

Prison Valley est un road-movie photographique dans une ville western, où l’on surprend les personnages dans leur quotidien, dans leur travail, leur ennui, leur plaisir, comme des tableaux vivants d’une ville un peu morte. Les familles, les détenus, le personnel pénitentiaire, le shérif, se livrent avec pudeur et démonstration et nous dévoilent les clés de cet univers.

Préfiguration de l’évolution de notre propre société carcérale.
Les interviews apportent éclairages et témoignages. Ensemble, photographies et reportages constituent une nouvelle forme de récit.
Text by: David Dufresne

Publisher: Democratic Books et Arte Edition (2010)
224 pages
Size: 14 x21 cm
ISBN :2361040107   

Cela commence par...

Cela commence par des rencontres. D'abord celle d'un écrivain dont l'apparent détachement s'accompagne d'un savoureux sens de l'humour et dont j'ai immédiatement aimé le goût pour les mots, le sens du rythme et une naturelle inclination à se méfier des conventions de tous ordres. Puis celle d'un jeune photographe modeste, au regard immanquablement humain, intériorisant ses préoccupations pour un monde et des gens qui vont mal, qui ont mal. (...) Cela commence par des déséquilibres et de grandes difficultés et cela se termine par une immense tristesse qui, peu à peu, fait place à la colère.
Text by: Christian Caujolle

Publisher: Actes Sud (1997)


    2014 - Webdocumentary award for "Fort McMoney"

    2011 - AIB, Best cross media / online production for his work Prison Valley

    2011 - World Press Photo Multimedia contest, first prize for his work Prison Valley

    2011 - Grimme Online Award (Germany) for his work 'Prison Valley'

    2010 - France 24 / RFI Web Documentary Award, for Prison Valley

    2010 - Crossmedia Doc Award at Bellaria Film Festival, for Prison Valley

    2010 - Prix Italia / International Competition for Radio Television and Web for Prison Valley.

    2010 - Sheffield Festival, Innovation Award for his work Prison Valley


Urbex Rouge (Paris)
From 2019-11-07 to 2019-11-09

Une exploration des ruines du communisme. Le 9 novembre 1989, le mur de Berlin chute. En Europe de l’Est, les grands bâtiments du communisme sont désertés, pillés, oubliés. Aujourd’hui à l’état de ruines, ces décors à la fois spectaculaires et menaçants, sont restés figés dans le passé. Du sanatorium secret de Staline en Géorgie à la soucoupe volante de Bouzloudja en Bulgarie, explorations urbaines dans les pas de « soviet fans » nostalgiques, adeptes du brutalisme rouge et de touristes déjantés. 9 photographies de Philippe Brault seront exposées à l’occasion de la sortie de la web...

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Le Jeu des 1000 histoires (Saint Junien)
From 2013-07-27 to 2013-10-04

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 Biographie de Philippe Brault

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