National Geographic’s publications

Between 2013 and 2017, the National Geographic published sixteen of my photos. Most of them are pictures from India. (my thanks to the National Geographic)

Back in 2014, I visited the Kathputly Colony slum. It was destroyed in 2016. National Geographic selected and published 5 photos. 

In 2013, I discovered the blue city of Jodhpur, where Steve McCurry’s books had made me dream of. The National Geographic published a photo of the pariah dog and the woman with the red sari.

Same year, I laughed at the summit of the Petit Mont Blanc. The National Geographic published a 282-page book, ’Getting your shot’, the black and white photo is on page 93. 

In July 2014, I was working in Casablanca. On the day of my holidays, I walked on the Port of Casablanca where I saw a young guardian of fishing nets taking a nap. National Geographic selected and published the monochome shot of sleeping guardian. 

Same month, back in Paris I saw a sleeping tourist. He was lying at the fountain of the castle of the Louvre. National Geographic published the funny shot and the photojournalist Benjamin Lowy wrote to me: “Wow. This made me - and Im pretty sure everyone else who has seen it - laugh out loud. Great street photography, can be mysterious and dark, questioning and vague, but it can also be witty and sardonic. This is life, but life is more than street beggars and commuters, life can be funny!”  (here)

Later that year, I did streetphotography for fun when I saw a Japanese woman and her Baxter dog. National Geographic selected and published this shot. 

In February 2016, I was working in Kolkata. Early in the morning, I took a series of photographs of Howrah Bridge. The photo of the sadhu coming out of the water was published by the National Geographic. This photo had some success which allowed me to do exhibitions in Switzerland and Russia.

Same month, I discovered the golden temple of Amritsar and three shots I took were published by the National Geographic.

In January 2017, I was working in Udaipur, Rajasthan. I followed a group of Jain monks. The photo was published in the National Geographic but also later in the French press (La Croix).

Origin of information:

Jigsaw puzzle of Indian reality.

Imperfect narrative jigsaw puzzle of India.

The travel photo is an imperfect jigsaw puzzle. It will never give a definitive answer on what India could be. This kind of photo is often created to be a form of entertainment. In such cases, its solution may be a significant contribution to visual entertainment or visual information. In my opinion, it is an object of entertainment that plays a major role in shaping imaginary geographies.

It is impossible to respect reality. The photographer is a creator who offers to see a new world: his own. So I am not showing you India. This is my story about India. Which India? Not the one defined by its landscapes, but the one defined by its people. The Indian man is visible in all directions. Even in the Great Indian Desert. The Indians are numerous. So it was for the Indians that I went to India. 

These photos/puzzle tell the story of a Sikh walking with a stick in the sacred lake of the Golden Temple of Amritsar, a walking bread salesman who collects coal and is teased by a black bird, Jain monks from Udaipur who spend their day walking, a Sapera with a cobra, a street actor with a huge head who plays on the roof of a slum of Delhi, etc. It’s an imperfect narrative jigsaw puzzle of what is India.   

Photo: Serge Bouvet

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