France, July 2022 - Present

JPM is a developing project in the context of the 2024 Long Term Photobook Program at Penumbra Foundation. 

It explores my Algerian roots and holds space for a photographic dialogue with my dad who suddenly passed away on February 20, 2022 at age 68 in Toulouse, France. He was going to turn 69 on March 17 that year. Due to the Covid-19-related travel and visa restrictions, I couldn’t fly from Los Angeles to attend his funerals and be with my family. 

He was born in Algiers, Algeria, during the Algerian War of Independence, which he experienced first-hand, before moving to France in the early 1960s with his parents and three sisters. He became a photojournalist at Agence France Presse (AFP) and covered French and international news. While we were close at the end of his life, I sadly did not know him much, since my parent separated when I was 2 years old. 

The project consists of pictures of his house as I found it in July and August 2022, after being unable to travel to France for three years. The house was intact but I had little time to sort through it and sell it before flying back to Los Angeles in late August 2022. Grief struck hard. My loss became all the more real.

Additional material that is yet to be produced and that will be interwoven into the project comprises: his personal documents, extensive archive of scanned negatives, landscapes he loved, 3d scans of his personal belongings and the photographic gear–often incomplete–he left, archival research about the war, and field trips to Algiers.

More to follow.

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