Philippe Dudouit: The Dynamics of Dust
Philippe Dudouit documents the new relationships that historically nomadic indigenous Saharan inhabitants of the Sahelo Saharan band have forged with a territory they cannot pass through freely or safely, anymore. A former tourist paradise now off-limits to foreigners due to a burgeoning abduction industry has made the dire economic situation even worse, cutting off large parts of the population from an income essential to them.
At first glance, the rise of Islamic terrorism in this area is blamed, but a closer look reveals a reality that is much more complex and the area now faces a dangerous cocktail of underdevelopment, poverty, and state failure. The new constellation consists of armed Islamists, human traffickers, drugs, and weapons smugglers topped off by international interests jockeying to win oil, gold, and uranium mining rights. The lack of political vision for the area's future makes up for a scenario in which a doomed generation is growing up.
Dudouit's practice embodies hybridity, in the fusion of classic analog large format camera technique and the use of digital technologies, but also by combining innovative documentary photography sensibility with the tableau-type composition of his environmental portraits.
The Dynamics of Dust is published by Edition Patrick Frey.