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Forum Vies Mobiles : The Lives We Lead – Photographing France


 Les Vies qu’on Mène – Photographier la France is an exhibition by Forum Vies Mobiles with sixteen photographers from the Tendance Floue collective and a photographer from Magnum Photos presented at the Cité Internationale Des Arts Paris, 4th district.

The health crisis that we have been going through for almost 2 years has first and foremost upset our ways of getting around (frequency of our journeys, means of transport used, territories covered) and the way of apprehending them (discovery of new rhythms, escape from promiscuity, etc.). This made us fully aware of the central place that travel occupies in our lives, whatever the reasons (employment, health, social life, etc.), in our territories and our economies. Previously, another mobility crisis, national this time, the Yellow Vests movement, had started with the contestation of the fuel price policy: too high for cars, too low for the plane.

Our mobility is thus at the heart of the latest contemporary crises: social, economic and also environmental. However, it impacts the French in very different ways, depending on their profession, their living environment, their age, their social network, etc., far from too simple dichotomies (centre/periphery, rich/poor, men/women, individual means of transport /collectives…) usually mobilized.

In this context, the Forum Vies Mobiles, a think tank on the mobility of the future, launched a national photographic mission (inspired by the DATAR mission of 1984 on the landscape) intended to document this unsuspected diversity of French lifestyles from the viewpoints of their movements. There project was entrusted to sixteen photographers from the Tendance Floue collective and a photographer from Magnum Photos  who traveled the four corners of the French territory to cast their singular gaze (astonished, empathetic, distant, etc.) on the daily life of the inhabitants, they used both black and white and color photography, digital and analogue to achieve a wide variety of formats: large format, video, mosaics, archives, … Depending on his/her background, his/her photographic project, personal inclination, each photographer has chosen to bring back from this trip In France the trace of a particular way of life to contribute to the overall portrait of a contemporary national ways of life. If their investigation was nourished by the discourse of the Forum Vies Mobiles on mobility, the fruit of ten years of research on the subject in the human and social sciences (geography, sociology, economics, etc.), each had carte blanche to seize it according to his/hers own sensitivities, interests, methods.

Les vies qu’on mène (The Lives We Lead) exhibition presents more than 400 photographs that offer a sensitive incursion into the daily life of young people, families and old inhabitants of our country, the poor, the city dwellers, the isolated, the rich and the rural people. , summer and winter, day and night, before and during the health crisis. The photographs presented offer the visitor an immersion in extremely varied lifestyles while giving him the opportunity to reflect on his own daily life. So many questions of rhythm, pugnacity, mastery, pleasure, abandonment, conquest, daily compositions.

The news of spring 2020 came to impact and feed the relevance of this photographic mission project, imagined between the Yellow Vests movement and the spread of the current pandemic, proving, if necessary, the social reality of the mobility in the life of the French.

With this project, both artistic and political, the Forum Vies Mobiles reminds us, at the dawn of the Presidential elections, to what extent mobility remains a social issue that cannot be approached in a simplistic or uniform way. It testifies to the need to design public policies that take into account the diversity of lifestyles to prevent them from being ineffective or even unacceptable for their repercussions on work, consumption and free time. By raising awareness of public opinion and decision-makers on this crucial subject, the Forum Vies Mobiles hopes to work towards a transition towards more desired and more sustainable forms of mobility.



TENDANCE FLOUE : Pascal Aimar – Thierry Ardouin – Denis Bourges – Gilles Coulon – Olivier Culmann – Ljubiša Danilović – Grégoire Eloy – Mat Jacob Caty Jan – Yohanne Lamoulère – Philippe Lopparelli – Bertrand Meunier – Meyer – Flore-Aël Surun – Patrick Tourneboeuf – Alain Willaume & Claude Willaume

MAGNUM PHOTOS : Jérôme Sessini


Sylvie Landrieve – Co-director of the Mobile Lives Forum
Agathe Lefoulon – Project Manager at Forum Vies Mobiles
Pascal Aimar and Gilles Coulon – Photographers and members of Tendance Floue

Aurette Leroy
Pierre di Sciullo

Agathe Lefoulon for the Mobile Lives Forum
Rose Durr and Clémentine Semeria for Tendance Floue


LES VIES QU’ON MÈNE. Photographier la France
Exhibition from March 1 to May 19, 2022
Cité Internationale des Arts
Site du Marais
18 Rue de l’Hôtel de ville
75004 Paris


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