Hear them speak
In the beginning is the word, and the word is giving. Giving people who are rarely heard the opportunity to express themselves. Following a common thread of language, we approached members of peoples who are defending their cultural identity. They live on windswept high plateaux, in the middle of forests, or in the suburbs of large cities. Some speak languages that will die with them. Raymond Depardon
The exhibition Native Land unites filmmaker and photographer, Raymond Depardon, and urban planner and philosopher, Paul Virilio, who propose a reflection on the notions of taking root in a given place, and of being uprooted. It also attempts to address the questions of identity that are linked to these notions. On this occasion, the Fondation Cartier and Steidl are publishing Hear Them Speak, a collection of colour Polaroids by Raymond Depardon. In the course of some ten journeys, from Central America to South America, from Europe to Africa, Raymond Depardon went out to meet small ethnic groups who are hanging on determinedly to their land and their language: the Kawésqar, Chipaya, Quechua, Mapuche, Afar, Occitans, Bretons, Guarani and Yanomami. Their statements were recorded in their mother tongue and are accompanied by Polaroid photographs. In the resulting portraits, these people express the strong bond that ties them to their land and culture, offering a moving demonstration of the way land, speech and memory are intimately interconnected.
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