- Christiane Eisler
- Dirk Alvermann
- Abdelkrim Amirouche
As a doctoral student in the history of art and photography at the University of Paris Nanterre and the National Institute of Art History in Paris, I present the issues at stake in my thesis research through this film essay, in particular the reasons for the integration of East and West German photographers who photographed Algeria during the Cold War period, while evoking what links me personally to this academic work.
By consulting the private collections of several Algerian photographers who began their practices in the 1960s, unknown in France and abroad but also in Algeria, as there is no real policy of development and conservation of the medium, I found the impregnation of a certain Soviet visual culture and imaginary socialism, Algeria adopting this model from its independence in 1962. Based on testimonies, private and institutional archives, my research project, between Algeria, France and Germany, questions the circulation of aesthetics and socialist imaginaries interacting with Western models of representation through the physical and dematerialized consultation of photographs from three countries plagued by memory issues.
In this experimental film, I propose to talk about the relationships of affects that one can have with a scientific research when the individual memory meets the collective memory and when the notion of subjectivity meets that of objectivity. It was thus a question of experiencing the consultation of archival images, whether they be family, private or institutional, consultations based on different rhythms and materialities. The motif of the sun, a socialist motif, appropriated in a singular way by the photographers, comes back as a leitmotif to be questioned through this film. Throughout the film, the photograph of my grandfather in the desert during the Algerian war that appears and disappears in the tray of the darkroom developer translates these questions around the issues of memory, unspoken, invisibility and visibility. The images disappear and appear whether through the prism of other images, the sun that comes to dazzle or the developer of the darkroom that undulates like the sea that constantly returns to erase the traces left on the sand.
Voices : Gaelle Prodhon, Abdelkrim Amirouche, Djamel Farès, Christiane Eisler
Photo archives : family archives Gaëlle Prodhon, Djamel Farès, Abdelkrim Amirouche, Christiane Eisler, Dirk Alvermann, Halim Zenati, Établissement de communication et de production audiovisuelle de la Défense
Film Archive : hr Retro | hessenschautro
Text by Gaelle Prodhon.
The video was last changed and edited on 03.04.2023.
- Sonya Schönberger