"At the slightest spark, it was the explosion"

"At the slightest spark, it was the explosion" is a work around the colonization and the war in Algeria. From internet images to family stories, from Raymond Depardon to Gillo Pontecorvo's "The Battle of Algiers", René Vautier, Marc Garanger and Henry Alleg's text, I allowed myself to create images between already existing images . I conducted this work with my relatives, descendants of this story, between staging and realism of everyday life.
The photography then becomes a domesticated space of violence where big words like torture, terrorism, Françafrique ... resurface ... Unlike a decisive moment, the images are here multiplied, repeated, passed through the filter of time and different manipulations. The moment tries to become signifying, a supported and insistent look that allows itself to question this History unceasingly.
"At the slightest spark, that was the explosion" These images are inspired by the history of my family "black foot" from Algeria, or we say the silence that surrounds this history of the war of Algeria and colonization. This war is still a taboo nowadays in France, but this silence weights and could explain a lot about the links between France and its immigration today, without saying about the France / Africa links. My work is inspired by the images on the Internet: a corpus of few iconic images, images by photoreporters like Raymond Depardon, or Marc Garanger, some images of the French administration, official archives of the History of French Algeria, maps, written testimonies. It is a material basis to allow me to create new images in the blanks leaved between the archives. This journey without departure or arrival, allows the repetitions of the loop. This navigation between attempts of realism and attempts at staging tells about a historic fact became intimate. It reactualizes its strength witht various photographic forms of making the work a proposition and not an answer. Photography become a space where we are at work, and my father and sister who lived or inherited this war. It is a space of domestic violence allowing me to take a foothold in this history, as much as the viewers of the images then. Here photography is considered in its capacity for movement and instability. As opposed to a decisive moment, the images here are multiplied, repeated, passed through the filter of time and that of the different photographic manipulations. The moment tends to become meaningful, a staring gaze that allows itself to ceaselessly question this history .

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Laura Ben Hayoun

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Laura Ben Hayoun
Photographer/ Videast