Yamina and Brahim, an eye wide open on the memory of the districts of Alès

Yamina and Brahim, an eye wide open on the memory of the districts of Alès

A eux deux, le couple a photographié les événements festifs et culturels des quartiers cévenols. Midi Libre – ALEXIS BETHUNE

Depuis le quartier des Cévennes, Yamina et Brahim Tahar-Chaouche photographient depuis plus de dix ans les festivités locales. Ils animent également des ateliers de lightpainting à la Maison pour Tous.

The faces of the two photographers are familiar to the inhabitants of Alès and yet, their work is of absolute discretion. Yamina and Brahim Tahar-Chaouche returned from Paris in 2011 to settle in the Cévennes district. It's there that Yamina begins to frequent the Maison pour Tous, and to take out her camera to capture snippets of festivities organized in the neighborhoods. A reflex that she has always had, too far from her memory.

"Power local memory"

The photo? She immersed herself in the doctors' waiting rooms, scrutinizing the photos in Paris Match."I’I remember her at Fnac, who would sit for hours looking through photo books", smiles Brahim. Until residents asked her to be the official photographer for cultural events organized within the framework of the City Policy in particular.

So, she and her partner decided to set up the association "Ouverture" in 2016. A way to formalize their activity, to legitimize it. Especially since the couple's names are famous at local events, even in Anduze, or Grand-Combe. Since then, their photos have been walled up on a Facebook page, and take photos of the moments of conviviality which marked the Cévennes neighborhoods. "At local events, I shoot, non-stop !", explains Yamina. "I know that I" ;rsquo;would always have a usable photo." And by that, she means a photo "natural", without retouching, uninhibited. "This is not an exercise in creativity, but rather in feeding the local memory.", adds the latter.

Full-time volunteering

The innovative side goes to Brahim, specialized in lightpainting, a type of photography that he masters in their studio installed on the top floor of the Maison pour Tous. Between four black walls, equipped with a tripod and a few light sticks made by Yamina, it invites, through workshops, young and old to learn about this visual technique which makes it possible to reveal streaks of light on a photograph. "I discovered this process during a cinema conference at the cultural center. You had to see them, how the workshops at home had become!", laughs Brahim.

Yamina and Brahim, an eye wide open on the memory of the districts of Alès

Yamina and Brahim set up their association “Ouverture” in 2016. FREE NOON – Eva Bonnet-Gonnet

Between them, she "greatly unsatisfied",and he, more "posé", they devote a good part of their time to perfecting this practice, and conveying it to the general public, but also to explore other ideas for activities for neighborhood residents and expand their collaborations with other associations, such as Melting Phot. In addition to local appointments. "It’s time-consuming! Just a neighborhood party, we get involved in it. I stay from start to finish, so as not to miss anything. And, when it's not in the field or in the studio, the head continues to think, to create, explains Yamina.

In addition to the presence on the field of the diary, and the lightpainting workshops, the spouses photograph "simply the little things in life&quot ;, which they exhibit and share voluntarily. "For people's pleasure, and for ours."

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