From fashion photography to photo reporting, from fugitive moments to photographic set up, FranĂ§oise Huguier keeps the same pronounced graphic look and the same humour.
Passionate with trips and the meeting of territories and their inhabitants, she came back from Africa with her first book: â€śSur les traces de lâ€™Afrique fantĂ´meâ€ť published by editions Maeght in 1990.
With â€śSecrĂ¨tesâ€ť, published by Actes Sud in 1996, she succeeded to share the privacy of African women.
In 1993, she kept a log of a lonesome trip to Siberia. She won a World Press prize with this work. â€śEn route pour Behringâ€ť was published by Editions Maeght.
In 2001, she decided to spend several years in Saint-Petersburg to document communal apartments. The book Â« Kommounalki Â» was published by Actes Sud in 2008 the film Â« Kommunalka Â»was presented by the ACID during the Cannes Film Festival in 2008.
Asia is also one of her favourite destinations. After discovering Japan in the 80s, she returned on her childhoodâ€™s footsteps, when she was a ViĂŞt Minh prisoner in Cambodia. The book â€śJâ€™avais huit ansâ€ť, which tells this story, was published by Actes Sud in 2005.
In 2012, FranĂ§oise Huguier once again meddled with what at first seemed none of her business : nuns in Bogota, Cali and Popoyan, the three main cities in Colombia. This was a strange idea, a dubious plan even, given the countryâ€™s situation, dominated by cocaine production and trafficking, its infamous drug cartels, urban violence, and the guerilla warfare between soldiers, FARC guerilleros (the self-proclaimed Â« peopleâ€™s army Â») and the paramilitary death squads of the extreme right.
In penetrating Colombian convents, FranĂ§oise Huguier has devised a reportage that in its own way speaks volumes about the current state of Colombia. Women there who have withdrawn from the world...
This project dates back to 1991. I was working in Siberia when I ended up in St Petersburg because several Russian ethnologists lived there.
I was living with Russian friends, some of them were living in community apartments.
In 2000, I wanted to go back to start this project. Since then, I've been back there every two months until 2007.
I chose to live inside one of these apartments by renting a room, to be closer to the inhabitants.
Japanese Baths, also called Onsen are a millenary tradition from the countryside, where Japanese came to relax after daily labour. It became a practice in today's Japan. Some of the baths are localized in open air et possess undeniable curing qualities for skin diseases.
The Inkata was based in this huge port set in on the shore of Indian Ocean, in South Africa, where White, Bantous et Indians coexist.
In order to deepen my photographic work on the Zulu community, I explored two different worlds, geographically set apart : the bachelor hostels and the squatter camps. Set by the port, Intaka's hostel was created before WWII. It's the oldest hostel, representative of the times of apartheid. In these premices, are confined about one hundred men: 80% of them are unemployed.
I had to wait for 50 years before going back in Cambodia. Fifty years that hit hardly this country, through a history of conflicts and suffering.
This way back on the footsteps of my childhood matured for a long time in me. The reason of my slow pace was not fear, but the urge to live for my passion, photography. First, I had planned to go there with my friend Serge Daney but his life decided otherwise. So I flew for Africa, then Russia. Maybe I was unconsciously trying to occult my tragedy, though unforgotten.
Then I wanted to go back for the sake of my mother, whose memory at this time was fading as the years went by. This dive into the past was allowing me to really communicate with her, maybe for the last time.
In December 2003, quasi apneous, I went to the encounter of the child who, years agos, had tasted the the carefree life in the heart of plantation, and I got in touch with the 8 years girl I was, who had been a prisoner of the Viet Minh and the Issarak people.
To her, I dedicate this travel log that discharges my memory. Publisher: Actes Sud (2005) 195 pages ISBN :2742754172
"During her frequent travels through Burkina Faso and Mali, FranĂ§oise Huguier took the time of encounter : she spoke to people, went into houses, women's rooms, and listened.
This way, she earned the right to take pictures of their life, and brings back a serie of portraits seased in intimacy, simplicity and mutual respect. Stares capture your eye : familiar, intense stares, women's stares collected on doorsteps, or in the shelter of a room, the surrender of a bed corner.
The book then evokes the slow pace to confidences, in a text where FranĂ§oise Huguier tells by words the secrets that each of her photos respectfully betrays." Text by: Claire Denis Publisher: Actes Sud (1996) 87 pages ISBN :2742710671
"From March 1931 to February 1933, Michel Leiris crosses Africa from West to East. He is the archivist of an ethnographic mission directed by Marcel Griaule, task that drives him to held a log. This travel notebook became "Lâ€™Afrique fantĂ´me", a great book first published in 1934 by Gallimard. From May 1988 to January 1990, the photographer FranĂ§oise Huguier and the writer-reporter Michel Cressole, went back together on the Dajar-Djibouti mission's road, in quest of the "goĂ»t du merveilleux" (magic taste of life) that led Michel Leiris sixty years before in the Black country. Each of them held a travel log, one using images and the other, words." Text by: Michel Cressole Publisher: Ă‰ditions Maeght (1990) 240 pages ISBN :2869411049
â€śSomeone was kicking my bedroom door: I woke up with a jolt. It was
four in the morning. Two guys holding bottles of vodka insisted we got to know each other. Their room was at the end of the corridor. On the way we bumped into an old woman, the one who can never get to sleep. With a wave of her hand she seemed to say don't worry, I keep watch day and night. After two or three hours of more or less disjointed conversation, I left my neighbours room and went to get breakfast ready in the communal kitchen. I started to cook an omelette on one of the gas cookers; suddenly I realized it was...