- PhMuseum 2021 Photography Grant
The Dark Side of Sport
Dates2019 - Ongoing
- Location France, France
'The Dark Side of Sport' is an on-going research on sexual violence in the world of French sport. I started to work on this topic in November 2019 in collaboration with the NGO Disclose. My assignment was to photograph the most emblematic victims: I asked them to share with me their stories and to pose in their apartments, during their trainings or where the assaults occurred. The challenge was to hide their faces to protect their identity, while showing at the same time their resilience.
The investigation by Disclose looks at 77 cases of sexual violence in France which were either covered up or which could have been avoided. Beginning in the 1970s and up to the present day, the cases involve 276 victims and 28 different fields of sport. Disclose shows major failings by clubs, federations, public authorities and the justice system. These include the lack of monitoring of sexual delinquents and the inaction of officials and sports bodies. The extent of sexual abuse and the recurrent nature of the problem calls for urgent preventive action.
With the help of the PHmuseum Photography Grant, I plan to realise a new series of interviews and portraits of young athletes who complain of being victims of sexual violence, following the map reported by Disclose throughout France. I intend to document a broader variety of cases – ranging from small town inhabitants to metropolitan residents – among different sports fields such as basketball, gymnastics, athletics, tennis, diving, chess, figure skating and martial arts among others. I finally aim to collect archive material (newspapers, documents, notes) along with photos of places and objects connected to the abuses. The testimonies will be recorded to be used as audio installations. I hope to participate in the scholarship to see how 'The Dark Side of Sport' can evolve towards a finalisation as an exhibition. The grant would support me financially while I focus on completing the project.