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In The Face Of Silence
Images by Christophe Agou with text by John Berger
Winner of The European Publishers Award for Photography
In The Face Of Silence is a powerful and moving portrait of the hard lives of French family farmers living and working in the Forez region, on the eastern side of the Massif Central.
Born and brought up in the area, photographer Christophe Agou travelled to the less-known parts of the region, where he felt inspired by the silence and moved by the authenticity and charisma of the people he encountered. Over time, and through the gradual process of building trust and friendship, the farmers and their families accepted him and allowed him to both photograph and film their daily existence. The challenge was to go beyond just documenting their labour-intensive lives and present a deeper, more intimate portrait. The resultant work is a meditation on life and death as well as the silence and solitude that are ever-present in our lives.
Winner of the 2010 European Publishers Award for Photography, Christophe Agou, is noted for his personal documentary-style in both black-and-white and color photography. His intimate images both haunt and intrigue – and create an intensely rich, layered, visual language that triggers thoughts and emotions. Christophe Agou moved to New York in 1992 and came to prominence with his compelling body of work made in the New York subway – published as ‘Life Below’ in 2004. He was a finalist for the prestigious Eugene Smith Award (2006), for Le Prix de la Photographie de l’Académie des Beaux-Arts de Paris (2008) and received a ‘Mention Spéciale’ for le Prix Kodak de la Critique Photographique (2009). His photographs have been widely published and exhibited including shows at MOMA, New York; Jeu de Paume, Paris; Museum of Fine Arts in Houston; Les Rencontres D'Arles, France and Noorderlicht Fotofestival, The Netherlands.
John Berger, art critic, novelist, painter and author, was the 1972 winner of the Booker Prize with his novel G. His book on art criticism Ways of Seeing is recognized as one of the seminal texts on the subject.
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Published March 2011
144 pages, 240mm x 290mm
77 colour photographs
Dewi Lewis Publishing