A long-term photographic study on the sociopolitical evolution of the
Sahelo-Saharan region since 2008.
Philippe Dudouit's work is founded on in-depth historic, geopolitical and
cartographic documentation, research and analysis. The presented project is
a longterm photographic study on the sociopolitical evolution of the
Sahelo-Saharan region since 2008. Dudouit documents the new relationships
that historically nomadic native inhabitants of the Sahelo-Saharan region
have forged with a territory through which they can no longer pass freely,
or safely. The former tourist paradise is now also off-limits to foreigners,
due to a burgeoning abduction industry, making the formerly dire economic
situation even worse, with large parts of the population cut off from an
essential source of income. At first glance, the rise of Islamic terrorism
in the area is to blame, but a closer look reveals a reality that is much
more complex: the area now faces a dangerous mixture of underdevelopment,
poverty and state failure. The new constellation consists of armed
Islamists, human traffickers, drugs and weapons smugglers, topped off by
international businesses jockeying to win oil, gold and uranium mining
rights. The lack of political vision for the area's future is creating a
scenario in which a doomed generation is growing up.
Dudouit's work embodies hybridity, in the fusion of classic analogue
large-format camera technique and the usage of digital technologies, but
also in the combination of an innovative documentary photographic
sensibility with the tableau-type composition of his environmental portrait.
Dudouit (born 1977 in Switzerland, lives and works in Lausanne) graduated
from Vevey School of Photography. He has been recipient of a Kiefer
Hablitzel Prize in 2004 and participated in the World Press Photo Master
Class in 2005. In 2008, he won a first prize in the World Press Photo
competition for his work on the PKK fighters in Northern Iraq and in 2009
a third prize on the Tuareg rebellions in Mali and Niger. In 2011 his work
in progress received a Swiss Design Award and in 2013 he was a Magnum
Emergency Fund grantee.