Charlotte Corday

 

 

In December 2013, I started a personal documentary. I had seen the work of Alejandro Kirchuk and I found some images very touching. I got inspired about this idea of creating a set of images which would represent the lifestyle of someone I am very close to.

Knowing I was going back to my hometown for Christmas, I decided to photograph my sister and her friends. I am very close to my younger sister and I love spending some time with her. Her two best friends became quickly like my two other sisters. They are very interesting models photographically because they know and trust me, which creates a feeling of non awareness in my images.

I decided to take pictures of them during a few days, following them in places they like going and photographing activities and behaviours that represent well their lifestyle. I also decided to be the least controlling I could. I wanted them to feel free and to express themselves.

I suppose I was expecting something else from this project. As my sister and her friends are around five years younger than me, I was thinking it would be like going back into my own adolescence. It could have been a retrospective auto portrait. But it turned out completely differently. More I was spending time with them, observing their behaviours and habits, more I was noticing gaps between their adolescence and mine. The most important reason is the development of new technologies. Their generation is constantly connected. I found interesting the way teenagers build their personality online as in real life by creating their profile on social medias for example. May be it is only me, but I don’t remember spending so long on the internet at their age. It is not a criticism, just a fact. I don’t feel superior when comparing them to me. We are different, and it became very interesting to spot these differences with my camera.

Coincidence or not, during these two weeks spent in my hometown, I heard a lot about a woman called Charlotte Corday. She grew up in my city during the 16th century and played a role in the French revolution of 1792. At the age of 24, she went down to Paris to assassinate Jean Paul Marat, a figure of the revolution, famous for being uncompromising and violent. She knew she would be condemned to death. By hearing about her and her life, it made me wonder about her adolescence and the huge and obvious gap there was between hers, my sisters and mine. I concluded that we can not go back in time through the life of someone else. Time goes and things change. I decided to present few of my images from this documentary in a collage where I would try to express this fact.

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