Pierre Bourdieu's Photographic Archive: a Sociologist's Take on Algeria

The French intellectual, sociologist, anthropologist, and philosopher Pierre Bourdieu also happened to be a photographer. In a project made between 1958 and 1961, he went to Algeria during wartime and took an ethnographic approach by studying the Kabyle peoples, thus becoming the foundation of his anthropological reputation.

The photographs coincided with his book "Sociologie de l'Algérie", which would become a huge success in his academic career in France and America. The photographs and his fieldwork in Algeria then became his reference point for the book "Outline of a Theory of Practice", an influential work in the realm of anthropological theory..

Bettler, / Beggar, Bab-el-Oued, Algier, N 39/188. in: Pierre Bourdieu: In Algerien. Zeugnisse der Entwurzelung. / Pierre Bourdieu: In Algeria. Testimonies of Uprooting. © Pierre Bourdieu / Fondation Pierre Bourdieu, St. Gallen. Courtesy: Camera Austria, Graz.; Schwefelung der Weinstöcke / Sulfurization of Vines, Plaine de la Mitidja, Algiers, N 48/262. (Buchcover / Cover of the publication: Travail et travailleurs en Algérie, 1963) in: Pierre Bourdieu: In Algerien. Zeugnisse der Entwurzelung. / Pierre Bourdieu: In Algeria. Testimonies of Uprooting. © Pierre Bourdieu / Fondation Pierre Bourdieu, St. Gallen. Courtesy: Camera Austria, Graz.; Bab-el-Oued, April 1959, O 38/177. in: Pierre Bourdieu: In Algerien. Zeugnisse der Entwurzelung. / Pierre Bourdieu: In Algeria. Testimonies of Uprooting. © Pierre Bourdieu / Fondation Pierre Bourdieu, St. Gallen. Courtesy: Camera Austria, Graz.

Although Bourdieu is more known for his mind than of his visual work, the archive is one of the most important collections to Algerian history, as Bourdieu successfully emulated the Bressonian humanism in modernist photography. The intellectual had said that photography kept him in touch with humanity. It was through the lens he managed to see all the things he wished to see in studying the history of man.

Bourdieu's images can be viewed and accessed at Camera Austria.

Cheraïa, N 8/6. (Buchcover / Cover of the publication: Le Sens pratique, Paris 1980) in: Pierre Bourdieu: In Algerien. Zeugnisse der Entwurzelung. / Pierre Bourdieu: In Algeria. Testimonies of Uprooting. © Pierre Bourdieu / Fondation Pierre Bourdieu, St. Gallen. Courtesy: Camera Austria, Graz.; Cheraïa, Bau des Umsiedlungslagers / Construction of the Resettlement Camp, N 85/766. in: Pierre Bourdieu: In Algerien. Zeugnisse der Entwurzelung. / Pierre Bourdieu: In Algeria. Testimonies of Uprooting. © Pierre Bourdieu / Fondation Pierre Bourdieu, St. Gallen. Courtesy: Camera Austria, Graz.; ohne Titel / Untitled, R 1. in: Pierre Bourdieu: In Algerien. Zeugnisse der Entwurzelung. / Pierre Bourdieu: In Algeria. Testimonies of Uprooting. © Pierre Bourdieu / Fondation Pierre Bourdieu, St. Gallen. Courtesy: Camera Austria, Graz.; Straßenhändler mit Sohn / Street vendor with son, Orléansville, Chélif, R 14. in: Pierre Bourdieu: In Algerien. Zeugnisse der Entwurzelung. / Pierre Bourdieu: In Algeria. Testimonies of Uprooting. © Pierre Bourdieu / Fondation Pierre Bourdieu, St. Gallen. Courtesy: Camera Austria, Graz.; ohne Titel / Untitled, R 3. in: Pierre Bourdieu: In Algerien. Zeugnisse der Entwurzelung. / Pierre Bourdieu: In Algeria. Testimonies of Uprooting. © Pierre Bourdieu / Fondation Pierre Bourdieu, St. Gallen. Courtesy: Camera Austria, Graz.

Images are from the press kit.

2018-04-08 #culture #people #algeria #documentary-photography #pierre-bourdieu

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