In Africa, Russia, Cambodia, Françoise Huguier
has photographed godforsaken, often forgotten places and people, but the images she has brought back are anything but remote. Quite the contrary: they trigger immediate empathy, a feeling of envelopment, as if all of a sudden we were there in the tent with a Nenets woman, or in the caravan, watching the teapot steaming; it’s a sensual immersion into distant colours, textures, smells, lights. From her travels, she brings back images and words, which she then lays down in books. From Africa, she returned with Sur les traces de l'Afrique fantôme
, a book published in 1990, then Secrètes in 1996, retracing her immersion into the intimate lives of Burkinabe and Malian women. In between, she travelled to the Siberian cold and in 1993, published En route pour Behring
, a travel log of her long journey for which she won a World Press Photo award. Both of her images here are drawn from this work. The 2000s were marked by her travels across Russia - she spent several years in St. Petersburg to bring back an in-depth reportage about communal apartments (Kommounalki
) - and Cambodia, retracing her childhood (J'avais huit ans
Françoise Huguier's work sticks closely to lives, stories and bodies; it is both ample and generous.