From 1931 to 1934, just before the major protests led by the Popular Front, François Kollar (1904 - 1979) traveled across France meeting its working population. This wide-ranging survey of the working world, which featured 1400 illustrations, was published in 1934 in booklets entitled La France Travaille (France at Work).
With his 5 x 7 large-format camera and cumbersome lighting equipment, this Slovak immigrant of humble origins convinced miners, winemakers, boatmen and railroad men to pose for him during their daily routines.
The images from La France Travaille, negatives and positives, are preserved at the Bibliothèque Forney and distributed exclusively by the Agence Roger-Viollet.
A new book has just been released featuring some of Kollar’s work: Les hommes de la mer dans l’objectif de François Kollar, published by Editions de La Martinière