What happens when a closure, a restructuring or a redundancy plan is announced? Often, there is a long drawn-out struggle led by a trade unionist, the factory may be occupied as the workers call for fair treatment, or sometimes there may be a hidden revolt and tools may be destroyed. The situation is different every time. But when they are laid end-to-end, they tell a true story: the gradual disappearance of a certain industrial world of work, one which provides the structure for whole regions and supports whole villages. Its disappearance is being greeted with relative indifference, it is not making too many waves...
And yet these stories tell us about far more than just work or economic changes. They reveal stories of solidarity and disappointments as well. The importance of the factory, the workshop and a life which revolves around work. Then there is also the brutality of the economic world, which no longer bothers with negotiations, no longer leaves any way out, no longer even cares about the elderly, the most faithful employees or those who have been injured at work.
Following these conflicts over time and going back to see these companies’ employees allows us to go beyond the moment when emotions were running high, when the conflict was in full swing. And, on the eve of the presidential election, it allows us to tell the story of the forgotten people of France, people who have been mistreated and sometimes have no other choice but to destroy their tools in order to make themselves heard. Forgotten people who also get to know one another during these struggles: they are far more than just colleagues, they share a fate and a brotherhood. And they are capable of overthrowing the implacable fate of economic logic.
The exhibition consists of 30 black and white baryte prints, format: 50 x 50 cm.