La ronde des hirondelles
Dates2021 - 2023
- Topics Contemporary Issues, Documentary, Landscape
- Location France
Mohamed, Youcef, Mustapha and the others have no prior connection with France but find themselves stuck in Briançon, right on the border. Over time, they come to fully embrace this land as their own. The project depicts the bodies of refugees in limbo.
Their names are Mohamed, Youcef, Mustapha, Ahmed, Ali, Tierno, Khalid. They set off months or even years ago from North and sub-Saharan Africa and arrived in Briançon after crossing the Alps that separated Italy from France. They are there in a latent state - after weeks of long walks. The presence of these men in France is not a matter of choice, but rather the result of certain unavoidable circumstances. They had no prior connection with France or any other European country, yet they found themselves stuck in Briançon, right on the border. Over time, they came to fully embrace this land as their own.
Together we roamed the vast expanses of the Briançon mountains. Interaction with the landscape, immersion and contemplation were the rhythms of these times. Here, walking is seen as an outlet, a reflective state; an escape from the sometimes-gloomy daily grind.
I saw tired bodies, bodies on hold, bound by the decisions, authorizations and obligations of state authorities. Mohamed, Mustapha, Youcef, Ali, Khalid, Ahmed and Tierno find themselves trapped in this situation, going in circles in the landscape, like the swallows, whose swift, fluid movements evoke freedom and hope. Like the waiting refugees, the swallows are faced with uncertainty, fear and obstacles. They are looking for a hospitable land, a place where they will be accepted with kindness and where they can find peace.
La Ronde des Hirondelles portrays men in suspension. Between the fragmentation of bodies and landscapes, the photographs depict the daily lives of these men in the heart of the Hautes-Alpes, their relationship to walking and to the suspended time that temporarily binds them to this territory. The project also highlights the complexity of asylum seekers' situations, their struggles and resilience in the face of adversity.