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Les Nuits Photographiques : Fanny Bastien, Telephone The Thread of Life


We continue and present the projects selected by Les Nuits Photographiques 2015 awards, which took place on September 19th. Today is about “Telephone The Thread of Life“, directed by Fanny Bastien, French photographer.

A man’s life in 43 images, from his birth to his death at 43 years of age.
This man was one of the employees of France Telecom. He was also one of those in the company who committed suicide. That was in 2001.

Based on the idea of time lapse, the images and the sounds follow a binary system, appropriate for telecommunications. There are only two colours. The sounds are those of ticking, of a telephone on hold, of a beep of morse sometimes long, sometimes short, that retrace the employee’s life.

As the man is exposed to moral and psychological violence, subliminal images showing assembly line workers appear. The more these images become clear, those of the man destroy themselves, illustrating the suffering endured. The rhythm accelerates and the voices arguing the slogans become hypnotic. The images and the morse beeps come together in a desperate SOS sent by the very one who will not find anyone to listen. The benevolent voice of the woman stating that she is unable to respond to his call, seals his fate. Everything gets out of control, until the beep that falls like a blade ending his life.

The telephone rings in the void, the internet connection fails, no one replies nor understands his message hammered out in morse. It’s failure of communication. He hangs himself, at the end of the rope

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