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“I am a photographer since 1978. Being concerned with problems of my own time, I found in photography the appropriate way to express myself.
Taking a picture is, to me, a militant act, and if I have always been near those who were in the worst position to defend themselves, I always lived a long time side by side with them, becoming at a fighter to their cause. Neither benevolence, nor voyeurism, but a feeling of emergency, of responsibility, of a mission.”
At the end of my objectives, I see misery, suffering, the beautiful ones, the malicious ones, hatred, generosity. But I believe I often go beyond my vision, to the heart of others lives; it is perhaps the most important thing I do.
My photographs are a matter of commitment. That is why I lived the everyday life of the institute Faugeras (Corrèze, France), which accommodates about sixty people, all mentally handicapped adults. The aim of this report is to demonstrate an authentic concern for integration.
For that, it may appear surprising to use photographs and testimonies.
However such an approach is, as to my opinion, completely relevant when it deals with handicapped persons, whose mental deficiency is so important, that it requires them to live in an institution and even prevents them from having a job or more exactly a “gainful” work.
During one year, I lived the everyday life of institution called Faugeras (Corrèze, France), which accommodates about sixty mentally handicapped persons of all ages. With them, I shared intense moments of joy and sorrow.
Near them, the “weakest”, I found treasures of kindness which I wanted to reinstate. Getting to know them better, is giving yourself the means of appreciating them… it also erases the “taboos” related to the mental handicap.
J-L Courtinat

photographs by Jean-Louis COURTINAT

From 06/06/2006 to 29/07/2006
Galerie FAIT & CAUSE
58 rue Quincampoix
75004 Paris

Opening hours : Du mardi au samedi, de 13.30 à 18.30 heures
Phone : 01 42 74 26 36