Émilie Régnier has spent most of her life in West Africa. Beginning with her childhood in Guinea Conakry and Gabon, she moved to Mali in 2008 after her studies in Montreal, then alternated between Senegal and the Ivory Coast. She revisited these countries for her series Passeport.
Émilier Régnier’s Polaroid camera is the same kind used by photo studios for ID photos, printed in sets of four. The Canadian photographer instead uses the object to document the contrasts of a society and leave behind stereotypes. Her approach goes even further, becoming an attempt to erase the borders imposed by the former colonial powers and to show African identity in all its diversity. Régnier, who covered the Malian War and is a regular contributor to the international press for news from West Africa, has undertaken a long-term project collecting portraits of the people she meets, the main characters in a changing society. Exploring subjects from Sharia law to military presence, her portraits offer a larger vision of the continent. They demonstrate an intimacy between Régnier and her subjects, showing how cold and administrative classic identity photo sessions can be. Following her series FANMI, inspired by her background, which brought Régnier from New York to Port-au-Prince and Paris, she is pursuing another path to new destinations, bringing her camera with her.
Her work is currently featured as part of the 2014 FOAM Magazine/Talent tour, and she will soon take part in the Joop Swart Masterclass organized by World Press Photo
Foam Talent 2014
September 5th – 23 November 23rd 2014
121 Rue de Lille,