And these images, snatched by Michael von Graffenried without having been aimed, for to raise a camera to one’s eye is to put one’s life in danger, testify to a truth that no one is showing, that of daily fear and furor that you won’t see on the six o’clock news on television.
Robert Delpire, Creator and Founding Director of the Centre National de la Photographie, Paris, France 1981 – 1996
“It was chance, as almost everything else that happened in my career, that brought me to Algeria. I first set foot in the country, which I had never really heard of, to present an exhibition. In 1992, the civil war started. Because of the insecurity and the deep mistrust against photography, in order to be able to take pictures without people noticing, I decided to use a camera placed on my abdomen. Over the next ten years, I regularly went back to Algeria. A first exhibition was held in Paris in 1998, a second in Algiers in January 2000 at the National Library. When they saw the pictures, many people not only forgave me for having stolen the images, they also started confiding in me, telling me about these dark years. With film director Mohammed Soudani, we decided to go back to Algeria to find the people on the pictures. The result is the film Algérie – je sais que tu sais, which was presented at the International Film Festival in Locarno in 2002. For the people of Algeria, it represents the beginning of a path towards memory. A small step, but a step nonetheless.”