The eleventh edition of the Photography Festival in Sète, held every year at the end of May, showcases a series of documentary projects. We present a panorama of participating artists.
The emotional survival of Miss Wish by Nina Berman
Unspeakable pain comes over the face, lending it the look of a lost child shuffled from one place to the next, rudderless, like a piece of cork bobbing in the middle of the ocean… The portraits of Miss Wish by Nina Berman are like bubbles of emotion that convey the misery of existence, the hardship of day-to-day living when one finds oneself in the grip of inscrutable power or of some murky system. Leaving behind sex trafficking and child pornography, Miss Wish is a survivor of degradation, in search of shelter, of protective wings that would enfold and soothe her. The photographer records her searing complaint and the painful road toward recovery. In her affectionate and generous images, Nina Berman paints a stunning portrait of tenderness.
Honoring women in Adriana Lestido’s work
Adriana Lestido’s dazzling images portray graceful features of contemporary women that resonate deep within us. The photographer is interested in women’s condition in her native country, Argentina. She works in black and white of subtle elegance that underscores the contours of the faces and the form of facial expressions. Her portraits are always impassioned, wrested from hard, intense reality. Whether cries of pain or laughter, Lestido exquisitely frames the emotions of Argentinian women by foregrounding their bodies.
Chinese curiosities by Yan Ming
Filled with anxiety at the idea of his country turning into a cultural desert, the photographer hunts curious, droll sights and amusing scenes that might best reveal the transformations taking place in China. He is concerned and hopes to raise awareness about these changes through his photographic work. Born in Anhui Province, Yan Ming now resides in Guangzhou, where he devotes his time to his passion of photographing China. From absurdity and contradiction to living paradox, he explores many ways of sending the message that culture in China is in danger and showing the available means of its preservation.
Welcome to Alaska by Ronan Guillou
A forlorn landscape, sometimes covered with snow, sometimes drowning in mud, with mountains looming in the distance: the French photographer Ronan Giullou traveled to Alaska to paint a vivid, true-to-life portrait of the region. Here, we see a small shack smothered by snow; there, a polar bear skin drying like laundry on a clothes line; over there, the worn face of a worker who is getting a pint of beer at a pub… This beautiful series is entitled Death as Loud as Life and offers a frank glimpse into the life in this corner of the world.
On the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates by Mathias Depardon
The territories of southern Iraq, these mythical marshlands are endangered not only because of global warming but also because the Iraqi government is mishandling the situation. Mathias Depardon set out to explore this area. The photographer shows places and their inhabitants in carefully composed images that teach us about the people’s lives and their history. The series is a visual journey discreetly attentive to beings and things.
By Jean-Baptiste Gauvin
ImageSingulières, 11th documentary photography festival
May 29 to June 16, 2019