Raymond Depardon, the image of the Evian Accords: All the news on liberte-algerie.com

He immortalized the decisive moments of Algerian independence. Raymond Depardon was the only photographer accredited by the GPRA delegation during the Evian Accords. Sixty years later, this living witness is bringing “new” images up to date in a book co-written with Kamel Daoud, which will be released in bookstores next February. The two men met the press yesterday at the Arab World Institute.

THE’institut du monde arabe (IMA), in Paris, hosted yesterday the presentation to the press of the exhibition “His eye in my hand, Algeria 1961-2019”, which will be held in this cultural institution from February 7 to July 17 2022, year dedicated to Algeria. The work is the result of a collaboration between the French photographer Raymond Depardon and the Algerian writer Kamel Daoud.

The first with his photographs taken in Algeria in 1961 and in 2019; the second with texts. “The exhibition covers photos from 1961, the Evian Accords, and photos of Algeria from 2019 made by a prestigious genius photographer, commented by an Algerian, born in Algeria after Independence”, says Kamel Daoud, who adds: “It’s looking at photos or looking at a look. Because in the end, Raymond Depardon comes with a look and it’s not a political, archival, exotic look, it’s really a loving look. ”

The author of Meursault, counter-investigation, insists on the literary character of his texts. “These are not commentary texts, but those of a writer who looks at the photos, because when you look at the photos, you don’t explain them, you savor them and I tried to write tasting texts. . ”

The initiative comes from Raymond Depardon, who wanted to re-edit his photos from 1961 and 2019. “He contacted us and the book project was built around the principle of a reprint of these photos with texts by Kamel Daoud. This gives a 232-page book with 134 photographs ”, specifies Salma Hellal, of Barzakh editions.

The book Son Oeil dans ma main, which will be published on February 4 in Algiers (Barzakh editions) and Marseille (Plural Images), contains four long texts by Kamel Daoud as well as “comets”, small texts inspired by photos and which are not comments thereof.

“The principle is that the idea starts from Algiers, wish of Raymond Depardon”, observes Salma Hellal, before adding: “The idea was also that we do it with an independent French co-publisher, since the book will have a life in France with the exhibition planned at the IMA. We were able to choose our partner, Images Plurielles, an independent publisher. ”

The photographs of the Evian Accords form the center of the book. “They are masterful, no one has had access to the Algerian delegation like Raymond Depardon, it is an absolutely exceptional testimony to history.”

Comments supported by Mr. Abidat of Editions Images Plurielles, co-editor of Son Oeil dans ma main, which will accompany the eponymous exhibition at the IMA in 2022: “Our editions are specialized in the field of photography. We have a lot of exchanges with Algeria through meetings, co-editions, common actions, it is a great honor to participate in this project. ”

Raymond Depardon, a young photographer, was sent to Algeria for a report by the Dalmas agency in 1961, in the midst of the war. He recognizes that “his conscience and his artistic sensibility were forged in a decisive way during this trip”.

He also knows that he participates in the Algerian historical narrative through his photos: “This is why I want them to return to Algeria, for the Algerians to reclaim them. It would embarrass me if they would remain like colonial possessions, they are there for everyone, without borders. ”

If the book His eye in my hand will be present in Algeria since it will be co-edited by Barzakh, what will happen to the eponymous exhibition? “It will really hurt me if it does not find its way into Algerian cities, because we will still be only locked up, we spend our time saying yes, but the event is still happening in France, while we are Algeria, what are we doing? ” asks Kamel Daoud.

“I am not talking about public authorities. To publicize this event, to try to see it differently, is the role of all. It is serious that in our country, many newspapers spend their time denouncing the closure of a bookstore, but never talk about a bookstore that is opening. ”

At nearly 80 years old, Raymond Depardon remains attached to Algeria, where he is welcomed as a friend: “For me, it’s worth the gold palm, it’s a kind of legion of honor. I like welcoming people, discussing with them. For me, it is clear that the work will be an Algerian book. ”

From Paris : ALI BEDRICI

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Raymond Depardon, the image of the Evian Accords: All the news on liberte-algerie.com