Every city has its history, its own rhythm and a particular way of life rooted in its evolution.
The metropolis of our time is a living organism, both sheltering and devouring the individual.
Neighbourhoods are delineated by buildings, turning into microcosms. The houses and blocks are ephemeral, mutating cells. The further they are from the city's core and the more they lie on the external membrane of the vibrant central substance, or even outside of it, the more their existence is subject to change justified by growth or political ideologies. They are built, only to be destroyed and built up again. One urbanistic vision after another pops up and is shattered, each degrading the setting. The cycle starts anew. The cityscape appears unstable.
Yohanne Lamoulère shows this phenomenon through her photographs. She is interested in the latest trends in urban redevelopment of peripheral neighbourhoods and the consequences for their residents. The concepts for these transformations are often highly controversial, as they have not grown out of the neighbourhood itself, but are imported, imposed, inflicted even. When the public space no longer represents a common area defined within a community, the city turns into deception - "Ici ment la ville"!
How do you exist in a dishonest setting? Is it still liveable, appropriate for human beings, knowing that each of them needs to find their place to avoid getting lost in the anonymous crowd?
Every person must claim their individuality during their life. This quest for identity is assisted by a sense of place, finding one's roots and identifying with one's surroundings. This sense of self is an unfinished work, a constant process. A fertile soil is required for its development.
"Breaking the mould. Giving shape."
In her images, Yohanne Lamoulère tells of this individual need: sowing confusion, opposing the lie, disarming predefined norms, swimming against the current. In short: living life to the fullest.
Text: A. Meyer / Clervaux - cité de l'image
English translation: N. Linden
Yohanne Lamoulère (*1980) lives and works in Marseille (France). After growing up on the Comoros Islands, she graduated from the École nationale supérieure de la photographie in Arles in 2004. She's a member of the collective Tendance Floue and her themes include the urban periphery and the insularity within its multifaceted aspects. "Faux Bourgs", a compilation of her work on the city of Marseille, was published in 2018. She is also part of the collective Zirlib with the director Mohamed El Khatib. She is currently working on her first film, "L'œil Noir".