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Jean-Philippe Charbonnier : The United States


Starting in the 1950s, Jean-Philippe Charbonnier traveled several times to the United States. He came back with a harvest of photographs which illustrated in particular a special issue on the United States entitled Introspection of America, published in June 1962.

Jean-Philippe Charbonnier crossed the country from Texas to Missouri, from Alabama to the Hawaiian Islands, from Pennsylvania to the Mississippi. He sets out to introduce us to the daily life of the American people, from the Inuit in Alaska to the perfect American family of the late 1950s in New Rochelle, near New York. At Bird-in-Hand in Pennsylvania, he managed to photograph, despite the difficulty of approaching its members, the Amish community to end up in Boston with the students of M.I.T.

When he arrived on the Hawaiian Islands, he said of Honolulu that it is “a concentrate for an American satisfied tourist, in his sixties, ready to swallow everything. (…) Delicious ambush, tanning in twenty-four hours, disgusting Disneyland: these are the Hawaiian Islands. ”

A true globetrotter photographer, Jean-Philippe Charbonnier, like everywhere else, blended in with the people and brought us an authentic and often caustic photographic testimony of Kennedy’s America.


Jean-Philippe Charbonnier. Telling the Other and Elsewhere (1944-1983)

Popular Pavilion of Montpellier, from February 5 to April 19, 2020


Jean-Philippe Charbonnier – Raconter l’autre et l’ailleurs (1944-1983)

from February 5 to April 19, 2020

Pavillon Populaire // Espace d’art photographique de la Ville de Montpellier

Esplanade Charles de Gaulle, 34000 Montpellier

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