I grew up in Algeria, and I spent there 25 years of my life, I’m sometimes regretting the fact that I didn’t start photography there. I would have been a witness of the ordinary scenes of algerian life.
Doing street photography in Algeria
Algeria is one of these countries where it’s difficult to do street photography, it’s a society where the look of the others is heavy. Going out there with you camera and taking pictures of people is not that easy to be accepted. But, since few years things are strating to change a bit. but still depending on where and with whom you are. It’s a bit natural, sepcially after almost two decades of a bloody war (that some of us still refuse to call a war), Algerian people are starting to get back to a certain normality, enjoying safety and a kind of a freedom. Even if you can still feel and see the weight of the integrism. But this is ont the topic that I want talk about today.
There’s some great photographers that stopped by Algeria, sent by agency as Magnum or Agence VU for example.
Algeria through photographers
In the 90’s, while the islamist integrist spread terror and blood of the land and on the mind of generation of algerians. Some photographer came there, as A.ABBAS in 1995 a libanese photographer who came with this two albums of photography Algérian bloody war (B&W) & Algerian bloddy war (Color). Or also, Paolo Pellegrin in 2000, with Anti terrorist “patriots”. They actually did a great work, thanks for them for capturing those hard moments of our history, we will never forget. I’ll not tell you more about it, just have a look on their report. Raymond Depardon in 1999, made a trip to Algiers for Magnum agency, he described thourgh his pictures and his words too a certain tension floating there. Many picutres were took on ultra secured areas or from his car.
In 2006, Geert Van Kesteren worked about refugees of the polisario, and some other made photographers of “Agence VU” you can have look there there’s many recent pictures but you still have to register to be able to see them.
Street photography Algeria
When you see the work of these reporters, most of them covered period of war (1954-1962) and the the last 30 bloody years.
I’m having a certain frustration coming to me when I’m thinking about not being able to do street photography there that easily because I’m a bit far and not able from here to witness the beauty of the everyday algerian life. Not that I’m considering myself the only one who’s able to do that (there’s many really good algerian street photographers) but just that I want to make a contribution to it.
These last two years, I’ve done some photography there. If you’ve seen that above or on other pages that I’ve posted before. The picutres are showing my point of view, and the way I’m seeing the beauty of ordinary scenes of life, raw, authentic.
I’ll try to contribute to street photography Algeria content as much as I’m going back to my roots.
You can find some of other street photography that i took elswher on the main page of street photography