Friday, July 1, 2011

Along the French roads… (Part 3)

Raymond Depardon’s France shows the villages and landscapes of our sweet childhood, but of course his vision is only partial and incomplete. France is not just an old country with small “bar-tabacs” and closed local post offices. France is a lot more than that.  So let’s follow some additional contemporary photographers to discover something else…
Let’s explore the multitude of faces of a changing country, lets it surprise our selves. Let’s travel through its cities, its frontiers, coast, suburbs and discover its beauty and its scars…
France 14
The perfect follow up to Raymond Depardon’s France is to look into the work of the young generation of photographers from the France 14 project he initiated and which was exhibited last year in Arles (
Here is a video (in French again…) presenting the 14 photographers and their 14 projects:
Of course I cannot present them all here, so I decided to focus only on the work of Cyrus Cornut as he takes us through a journey in the hidden parts of the country…
Cyrus Cornut
Voyage en peripherie, les petits enfants du sciecle’ : Travel in the outskirts, the children of the century
For this project Cyrus Cornut decided to explore a France no one wants to show, a France we often forget unless sad or violent events put it in the news. It’s a new face of France built quickly and irrationally, but home to thousands of people. Fragile or even frightening (because we tend to be scared by what we don’t know) it’s the face of a France that is used to express most of the evils of today’s French society. But when we look closely at Cyrus Cornut’s images, we see also life, beauty and hope.
Cité de la Saussaie, Saint Denis.
Les Presles, Epinay sur Seine 2008. FRANCE
Chateaux d'eau, Villejuif, France 2008.
Les Choux, Créteil 2009. FRANCE
Cité Pablo Picasso, dites les tours nuages. Nanterre, France 2010.
  More images and more projects by Cyrus Cornut on:
Harry Gruyaert
‘Rivages’ (shorelines) is an exploration project by Magnum photographer Harry Guyaert. It’s a journey along the coasts, along the French costs and much further. But France has a particular place in Harry Gruyaert’s heart and project. We discover here a poetic, elegant country where the subtle colors and dreamy composition create a enigmatic landscape where we’d like to lose our minds and drift along.
FRANCE. Aquitaine region. Pyrenees-Atlantiques departement. Town of Biarritz. 2000.
FRANCE. Picardie region. Somme departement. Town of Le Crotoy, on the mouth of the Somme, seen from the village of Hourdel. Baie de Somme. 1991.
FRANCE. Picardy region. Bay of the Somme River. 1991.
FRANCE. Picardie region. Somme departement. Baie de Somme. Cap Hornu. 1991.
FRANCE. Nord-Pas-de-Calais region. Pas-de-Calais departement. Berck beach. 2007.
  More on Harry Gruyaert:
And a beautiful video about Rivages:
Patrizia Di Fiore
Patrizia Di Fiore was born in Italy but moved to France when she was 20 years old. She travels a lot but her approach doesn’t belong to the classic documentary style. She uses a medium format camera and tries to capture the atmosphere, the colors and sensations of the landscapes she crosses. In her photographs we feel escape, loneliness, the silence of the journey, we feel contemplation and the meditation of the road. Through her camera she reveals again another one of France’s multiple characters…
Pyrénées Atlantiques
Pyrénées Atlantiques
Pyrénées Atlantiques
Autour de Rouen
Autour de Rouen
More on Patrizia Di Fiore:
And if you want to discover more photographs of French landscapes, I recommend that you have a look at the website of the Transphotographiques festival, organized every year in May/June in Lille, North of

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