Marc Baguelin's photographstravels

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Marc Baguelin photographs

Introduction

This page presents some photographs connected with my travels. Whether for my work, my own curiosity, to visit friends or for any combinations of this, the sharing of my reconstructed memories through photography has been the starting point of my photographic work.

Starting with my 2004 trip in the Middle-East (Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria) and finishing with my latest journey between Paris and Karmir-Shuka (Karabagh), these galleries will, I hope, allow you to share my feelings of the time.

Paris-Karmir-Shuka (2007)

The project of doing a trip concentrated in the regions around the Turkish-Armenian border through crossing the distance between Paris and Karmir-Shuka arised from the will to apprehend the terrestrial continuity after a series of journeys to Armenia using the plane.

The plane, in addition to its impact on the environment, also redefines the geometry of the Earth. The distance is no longer viewed as the length of an imaginary line between two points on the map but as the time needed to join these two points. Air transportation has created a parallel topology on the globe, a few highly connected points join together in a space of relative cultural homogenisation. New hotels with 'western' standards appear, tourist-only-oriented infrastructures grow (more or less quickly), travel agencies open for western or westernized customers (in the case of Armenia, for the 'diaspora'), etc.

I did the trip in 2006 to attend the International Film Festival (Golden Apricot) where the film 'Stone, time, touch' by Gariné Torossian, which uses some of my photographs from 2004 was presented. A few hours by plane to feel this breaking of space, another world, but a certain continuity through uniformization. And a constant interrogation since my first trip to Armenia; what is there on the other side of the border? what remains from the times where Armenian lived there? if the border is closed, why not simply travel around?

Berlin (2007)

I went to Berlin for the showing of the film "Stone, Time, Touch" from Gariné Torossian at the 2007 Berlin festival.

This trip was an opportunity for me to walk in a town that I particularly like, a city where the scars and suffering of the past are still extremely tangible, casted into stone and emptiness. But Berlin is also a place of an incredible artistic dynamism which fills the air with a particular energy. As a Frenchman, wandering around in what is now a friendly country has also a particular flavour; it shows that thanks to political will, hatred can be overcome.

Armenia (2004-2006)

I had my first contact with the Armenian world during my trip to Lebanon in July 2004. Not that I was not knowing the existence of Armenian people, but this knowledge had not crossed the frontiers of books.

It is then in 2004, during this trip, that I understood the importance of the weight of the Middle-East History which was on the shoulders of the Armenians. The role of its people as a link and a reflect of the suffering of the region. This led me to decide to go in Armenia during the winter to do some photographs there. Some of these pictures where used later in Gariné Torossian's film 'Stone, time, touch' on trajectories of Armenian women from the diaspora visiting today's Armenia. The premiere of the film in Yerevan had been the pretext of the second trip; the official presentation the one of the third one; but since long already pretexts where not needed anymore.

First visit to Armenia

Lifou (2006)

During the summer 2003, I went to New Caledonia to attend the wedding of one of my best friends. New Caledonia with its "dependances" has been populated by successive waves of migrants in addition to the native people, the "Kanaks". The History of the island is intimately linked with the history of its people.

During my first trip, I unfortunately didn't have enough time to experience fully the contact with the Kanak world. I had to wait for a professional trip to Australia to be able to spend some time there. These photos results from a stay I did in the tribe of Xepenehe on the Island of Lifou thanks to the help of Wahopi Kaemo in Noumea, his brother Var on the Lifou island and his wife Marie-Claire.

USA (2005)

My trip to the USA was for a workshop I had to attend in Miami for my research. I had also an invitation from a colleague of the National Institute of Health in Washington to come to present my work.

The few photographs presented here were thus taken in Boston and Washington during the few days I was there. There are no photos of Miami, basically because I was staying in one hotel all day long for one week, listening to and talking with people about flu, in a room with no windows transformed into a freezer by the air conditioning while at the same time it was warm and sunny outside. Who says research meeting are like holidays?

Cyprus-Lebanon-Syria (2004)

In 2004, I decided to go to Lebanon. Many reasons were bringing me there. My grand mother was born in Beirut and had lived there for some 25 years. Other time, other place, but I wanted to confront this vision of a dreamt Lebanon with what was remaining after the war. I have had met many friends from Lebanon too. And it was the country of the greatest singer I have ever heard; Fairuz. Everything was telling me that it was the place I had to visit. I planned to go with a friend; he never came, I did then this trip on my own... with my camera.

Thus, on a photographic side, this travel had been a turning point, leading me to a more serious practice of photography. All the photographs taken then were taken with a small compact digital camera.

Trip to Lebanon in 2004Short visit to Syria during the Cyprus/Lebanon trip