To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability… All photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.
Susan Sontag, On Photography
For Bruno Barbey (1941-2020)
The illusion of photography lies in its apparent immediacy, in its capacity to interpellate by congealing the movement and the transience of events, thereby leaving space for our imaginary to appropriate the image to a degree of great intensity. Photography is thus an art with a universal language, in the words of Bruno Barbey; universal because the desire to “capture” time subjectively is shared by all.
The photographer Bruno Barbey, along with his extensive photographic work, would capture the events of May 68 in France as few others.
Barbey died this last November 9th. In memoriam, we share part of his work on May 68 below.
The most astonishing aspect of May ‘68 was to see all these open discussions among every social milieu and this need people had to speak up for everyone else. People came out on the streets – and they weren’t just students – and had the urge to discuss, to reform the world, to search for freedom. I wasn’t a militant but I sympathised with the demonstrators.
Bruno Barbey (Magnum Photos)
The photographs above are all taken from the Magnum Photos website page Beyond the Myth: The Legacy of May ’68, dedicated to Bruno Barbey’s photographs of the events.
The extraordinary wealth of his work may be seen at his personal website, here.
And to close, we share two video interviews with Barbey …