Grande Terre

Laura Henno

16 Jun — 16 Sep 2023

Passerelle is taking part for the first time in the initiative entitled ‘A photographic journey through Brittany’ which presents a photographic exhibition trail across the whole region every two years. This monographic exhibition by Laura Henno entitled ‘Grande Terre’ (Great Earth) is part of a broader presentation of the ‘Radioscopie de la France’ photographic commission aimed at photojournalists and supported by the National Library of France (BnF). Awarded this bursary, Laura Henno engaged in work that was artistic, committed, poetic and almost sociological, pursuing this in Mayotte from 2013, the date of her first visit to the Comoro Islands, the archipelago to which the island of Mayotte belongs. In her work she shows various ways of resisting oppression; this is precisely what attracted her to Mayotte, following the life of teenage gangs that survive on the coast of this land of contrasts, long forgotten by mainland France.

To understand the artist’s research, we must delve into the history of Mayotte, intrinsically linked to the post-war self-determination and independence movements. The Comoro Islands, then a French protectorate, declared their independence in 1974. The government of Valéry Giscard d’Estaing refused to accept the positive result of the referendum and retained one of the four islands, Mayotte, as an intrinsic part of the French Republic. This occupation became illegal and was condemned by the United Nations. In 1995, visas became compulsory for inhabitants of the Comoros wishing to visit Mayotte. Yet the people of the archipelago had always come and gone between the different islands, both to see family and to work. This geographical division created clandestine... [lire plus]

These photographs were produced as part of the major national commission: Radioscopie de la France: regards sur un pays traversé par la crise sanitaire (France observed: glimpses of a country undergoing the health crisis) financed by the Ministry of Culture and led by the BnF

Part of Une traversée photographique en Bretagne (A photographic journey through Brittany) in partnership with Frac Bretagne

With the support of the Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris-Brussels