This is a woman of temper and belief, a great american photographer, one of the rare female member of the Magnum agency since 1976, which approaches closer to the conflict, its victims, its disasters, its rages. During the opening week of the 50th edition of the photo festival which promises to be dense and hectic, Susan Meiselas , 71 years of age on 21 June, will be in the spotlight. The first prize in Women in Motion, which rewards “the creativity and the uniqueness of the talented women in the field of arts and culture”, will be given on Tuesday, July 2, during an evening at the theatre antique d’arles. She will be speaking to share his journey and his view of the place of women in photography. The price Women In Motion, presented by Kering and the Rencontres d’arles, is accompanied by an endowment of 25,000 euros in the acquisition of works by the artist laureate for the collection of the Rencontres d’arles.

Born in 1948 in Baltimore (Maryland, Usa), Susan Meiselas lives and works in New York. It is a figure strong that it imposes to the world strict, shrewd and often severe of photography. His work, documentary, and very embodied, will always be in the heart of the matter. She is the author of the series famous and harsh. Carnival Strippers (1972-1975), on the lives of strippers in the fairgrounds of the South of the United States, Nicaragua (1981), or Kurdistan: In the Shadow of History (1997). Pandora’s Box (2001), reporting on a club of SM where women have power through sex. Encounters with the Dani (2003), report for the indigenous people of west Papua. Prince Street Girls (1975-1990) on the young women of the neighborhood of Little Italy in New York. And finally A Room of Their Own (2015-2017), the working media, of the testimony at the image, which gives form to the life of women in the West Midlands who have survived domestic violence (published by Multistory and Here Press), and was seen in mid-may in the courtyard of Somerset House during Photo London 2019.

Exhibited at the Jeu de paume in 2018

Susan Meiselas has co-edited two books: El Salvador, Work of 30 Photographers (1983) and Chile from Within (1990), republished in e-book in 2013. She has also directed two films: Living at Risk (1985), and Pictures from a Revolution (1991) with Richard P. Rogers and Alfred Guzzetti.

Susan Meiselas in New York in 1978, under the lens of Jean Gaumy. (c) Jean Gaumy / Magnum Photos. New York, 1978.

His work on the issue of human rights in Latin America is particularly renowned. His photographs are part of major collections in american and international. In 1992, she received the MacArthur award and, in 2015, the exchange of the Guggenheim. She has been awarded, 2019, by the Price of the Foundation Deutsche Börse Photography.

Mediations , a retrospective exhibition of his work from the 1970s to today, has recently been presented at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona, the Jeu de Paume in Paris, then headed by the Catalan Marta Gili, and at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Paris has thus been able to admire its Mediations in the spring of 2018.

His bravery and his strong sense of action there are edifying. This woman decided to began with the theory, a bachelor of arts in 1970 and a master’s degree in fine arts at Harvard in 1971. This dual learning is still very present in his early works, literary and evasive as those of his countryman and elder, Duane Michals, 86 years of age. 44 Irving Street (1971) is the portrait subliminal inhabitants of the house where she was staying, and a student. Each, coiled up in his living space closed, commented on, in writing his thoughts and meditations. It is on the side of Virginia Woolf, or rather of its readers.

More strong, directly drawn from the real South Carolina where she taught photography to elementary school, his series Porch Portraits (1974) is a sensitivity great. The question black is treated frontally, without comment or pathos vindictive, just through the image calm of its stoops of misery where children play poorly fagotés and smiling, where sleep the old, where life breaks slowly to pieces. Light in August , looks like Faulkner.

New York contemporary, as is

In the same vein, intensely human, Susan Meiselas photography little girls from Little Italy in new York, have, over the years, their conspiracies, their effrontery, their grace in Prince Street Girls (1975-1999). Every gesture, every laugh, every step to the conquest of the sidewalk in new york is caught in flight, it is a great series of photographs. Dickens told the London cruel of the Nineteenth industrial with the help of the “happy end”. Susan Meiselas tells his New York contemporary, as it is.

of Course, when one follows this intrepid in Nicaragua in 1978, the violence in the world has no more charm of the book. There she is, as a whole, is unsustainable, as these body parts that are strewn in the remnants of the surreal the hills near Managua where were perpetrated many assassinations.

In a way very didactic, the exhibition at the Jeu de paume alternated between reportage photos and installation to explain to the (young) public in paris what were the dynasty into power of Somoza and the guerrilla sandinista through striking portraits ( Molotov Man , rebel became an icon in Estelí on July 16, 1979, and his video testimonial, retrospective). The same feeling of suffocation, in front of the History with the massacre of the Kurds by the iraqi government of Saddam Hussein. Destroyed houses, graveyards in profusion, stories atrocious. Is this the way that men live?