LES GILET JAUNES
Ken Adams, Whangarei photographer and curator of The Shutter Room Collective Inc, is a regular visitor to France.
In 2015 he met French photographer Sabrina Dolidzé whilst staying in Dijon. Returning to Dijon in 2017 he was introduced to Jérôme Gaillard and a small group of photographers organising the 360° Panorama de la Photographie Transculturelle, a Festival of Photography. Ken was invited to show a selection of his landscapes at the Festival.
In 2019 when Ken returned to Dijon, he saw Sabrina's and Jérôme's remarkable photographs of the Les Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests) street protests in Dijon and Paris. Surprised that the work had not been seen in public he discovered that the French Government prevented the showing of any photographs of Les Gilets Jaunes in any public facility or by any group or organisation receiving Government funding. It seemed that the measure amounted to Government censorship and the stifling of 'Free Speech.' Given the activities of the French Government involving the Rainbow Warrior, Ken suggested the Shutter Room Collective Gallery might be willing to show a selection of the Les Gilets Jaunes photographs in Whangarei.
French protests have often seemed like a dance between demonstrators and police - direct action has a long and cherished history there. But these weekly confrontations between people and state are different. Not led by any union or political party, the Les Gilet Jaunes protests have unleashed the worst civil disorder France has seen for decades.
And yet the power of this movement lies, not in the violence at its margins, but in what polls suggest is more than half the country’s support for its basic aim, economic justice, marked by raising fuel prices and the cost of living. French citizens dream of a better world to which they wish to contribute, but they are not getting the desired answers.
The climate is heavy, the tensions are palpable. Sabrina Dolidzé and Jérôme Gaillard ’s images of the everyday citizens taking part in these protests, dramatically highlight the fragile balance of power on both sides, and question the fragility of democracy. Jérôme's work has previously been shown in Argentina but Sabrina's photographs have never been seen outside France.
The Shutter Room Collective wishes to acknowledge and thank Creative Northland for support and assistance in mounting and promoting this an exhibition of photographs.
Born in Nevers in 1974, Jérôme Gaillard is a journalist and self-taught photographer. He is at the origin of several editorial adventures (Magma,
Larevuenoire,) and artistic (Les Nuits Sauvages, 360 ° Panorama de la photographie transculturelle). He exhibited his first photographic work at Taverny (FR) in 2000 and then in Paris, Dijon, Barcelona and more recently in Chile. His photography focuses on the human, the intimate, the innocence, the wounds, the revolt …
His last exhibitions:
2014 - Me miras te miro y nuestros ojos son la luz del mundo (Dijon, Semur-en-
Auxois, Nevers - FR)
2015 – La Valse des innocents (Dijon - FR)
2016-2017 – La photo spectacle (Dijon, Besançon - FR)
2018 – Crackeur (Dijon - FR)
2018 – 2019 Vivants (Dijon, Longvic, Talca – FR, CL)
2019 - Les Gilets Jaunes - Projection (Talca, Linares, Curico, Cauquenes – CL)
”On November 17, 2018 people went out into the street with yellow vests on their backs,vests that alert them to the urgency of their situation. In response to this popular expression, in addition to the daily difficulties of this section of the French population,the government and the media have afflicted them with all evils.
Then it was the police repression, justice to orders with more than 4,000 police custody for the most part empty, fake news and various denigrations. But who are theseterrorists? These are some of the faces that made France tremble.”
Sabrina Dolidze lives in Dijon France. With her Master’s degree in Sociology, Sabrina likes to work on objects related to the human, social and political conditions. She aims at denouncing the facets, or outside appearances while focusing on the way these objects reflect humanity in its social reality.
She plays with the feelings of the viewers, interrogating them on their own representations and fundamentals of the issue.
Sabrina likes traveling and meeting new cultures, an interest which she takes from her Georgian origins.
Instagram: Sabrina Dolidze photographer Facebook : Sabrina Dolidze photography
"The yellow vests movement was born in 2018 in France around demands on the price of gasoline. Very quickly, the movement evolved towards a fight against social inequalities and the desire for direct democracy and a better world. Protesters of all ages marched across France sometimes with all their family. A very large police presence faced the protesters.
In the photos, the climate is heavy, the tensions are palpable, sometimes going up to an explosion, in an almost revolutionary atmosphere. Sabrina Dolidze followed nearly thirty demonstrations in Paris and Dijon. During her reports, the photographer was twice injured by the non-lethal weapons."
2019 “Women from Georgia - Tradition and modernity” Dijon (France) - Festival des "Nuits d’Orient".
2019 Projections yellow vests pictures at “Visa pour l’image” International photojournalism festival in Perpignan (France)
2018 “Champions” Dijon (France) - Festival 360.
2017-2018 “Humans” Dijon and Vienne (France)"
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