Femmes Algériennes 1960 - Marc Garanger
Femmes Algériennes 1960.
Reprinted trade edition. 4to. 124pp b&w plates in glossy illustrated wraps. French text. Anglet: Atlantica, 2002.
A scarce photo essay made by 25-year old Garanger during an extraordinary episode in his military service in Algeria in 1960. Marc Garanger was posted to the small mountain village of Ain Terzine and selected as his regiment's photographer. The French armed forces had decided to impose ID cards for the local people forcing them into 'regroupment villages', in an effort to disband militias and control movement. Garanger was tasked with photographing the local people for these identification cards, an assignment for which he faced being imprisoned if he refused to accept. The young photographer saw the task of making these images as a means of bearing witness to the violence of the French occupation.
In a period of ten days Garanger made over two thousand portraits, largely of women, from neighbouring villages. Either Berber or Muslin, these women had never before come into contact with Europeans. Each image shows the violence of a moment at which the Algerian women were forced to remove their veil and be exposed to the spark of the camera shutter. With their hair and protective tattoos visible the powerful gaze of the women becomes a form of protest.