Julie is the grand-daughter of Maryse. She lives with her mother and her sister in Lille. She visits at least once a year Maryse. Julie is the daughter of Marc, Maryse's first son. Marc passed away seven years ago.

Compliquée

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The Fume of Sighs


LensCulture Emerging Talent Award 2018


Maryse, 83, was born in Marseille. In 1969, she moved with her husband Michel to Sarcelles, a suburban city in the north of Paris. In August 2017, Michel passed away. Since then, I have been spending some time with her. At home she mourns while emptying the apartment from a variety of objects. When we are together, we remember Michel, we talk about life, death and absence. In a sense, we became confidants of secrets, fears and anecdotes. We replaced our respective solitudes - me as a migrant, she as a widow - within stories and dreams.

This is a story about life, absence, love and friendship. It documents the uncertain experience of being alone but also the alchemy of an unpredicted encounter.


[Français]

La fumée des soupirs


Maryse, 83 ans, est née à Marseille. En 1969, elle déménage avec son mari Michel à Sarcelles, une ville de banlieue au nord de Paris. En août 2017, Michel est décédé.

Depuis, je passe du temps avec elle. À la maison, elle fait son deuil en vidant l'appartement de divers objets. Quand on est ensemble, on se souvient de Michel, on parle de la vie, de la mort, de la famille et de l’absence.

D’une certaine manière, nous sommes devenus des confidents réciproques : nous partageons nos secrets, nos peurs et nos anecdotes. Nous avons comblé nos solitudes respectives - moi en tant qu’étranger, elle en tant que veuve - dans un quotidien truffé d’histoires, des rêves et d’espoirs.

Ces photographies retracent une histoire de vie, une histoire faite d'absence, d'amour et d'amitié. Elles témoignent de la solitude, des peurs et des doutes que le vide fait émerger, mais aussi de l'alchimie d'une rencontre inattendue. 

This Parisian suburb is one of the most stigmatized cities in France. It has one of the biggest "cités HLM" (social housing complex) of France.

Sarcelles

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For almost 50 years Michel and Maryse lived in their apartment in the Tour Desnos. In August 2017 Michel passed away.

Traces

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​Maryse. In the background a screened photograph of her family made in the 80's.

The Family 

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Dreams and Nightmares

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Villars-Colmars, Alpes de Haute Provence, 2018

Fireworks

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Villars-Colmars, Alpes de Haute Provence, 2018

Shelter

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Villars-Colmars, Alpes de Haute Provence, 2018

Family Dinner

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Maryse's great granddaughter in the Col des Champs. Alpes de Haute Provence.

Descendance

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Julie et Maryse jouent aux Etangs de la Dame Blanche.

Sparkle

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Maryse does not consider herself an elderly person. She often wants to hide time. The photographs remind her that she is aging.

Masquerade

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Julie and Maryse

Spring

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Souvenirs

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In spite of transformations and adversities life goes on.

Hope

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