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FotoEvidence : Carolina Arantes : First Generations


French women are also black.

First Generation is a photo-documentary book about building and affirming a black female identity in France. The work has focused on women from immigrant parents from West Africa, who were born or came to France very young, after the 1975 law on family reunification.

To build this work, I interviewed dozens of French women of African descent in order to understand their experiences and existential questions. I have heard stories of success and strength, of unity and resistance, of self-worth and self-care. I also received a lot of pain and disappointment. I understood the fragile anchoring of an identity that was neither established nor recognized.

How do French women of African descent create their identity between these two cultures? What choices have they made to consolidate their image, their words, their experience in a country anchored in its traditions and borders? How to blend in a country where we do not necessarily feel we belong?

First Generation aims at being a window to listening and empathy, to the constant learning of representation and to racial conditions in French society and especially to new ways of making their voices heard.

Carolina Arantes

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