"I guess every girl goes through a photography phase..."*

And some end up better than others...

That is the case of Janine Niépce. In a superlative effort to discover the best of French culture, I have been researching the work of this amazing woman who lived between 1921 and 2007. Being herself a distant relative of Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, one of the fathers of photography, her graduation in Art History at the Sorbonne comes as no surprise.

While she was at uni, she contributed to the French Resistance by developing films and she also took part in the liberation of Paris. That was 1944.

She was one of the first photo-journalists in France and a privileged witness to the changes in French culture in the second half of the 20th century. Her photography career, influenced by Henri Cartier-Bresson, started in 1946 and after portraying the life in France, from 1963 her photography took her to far away places, including Japan, US or India.

She covered May 1968 events dressed like a foreign tourist, pure genius!  A self-confessed feminist, in the 1970s she focused on the women's liberation movement and the battle for the freedom of contraception, abortion and wage equality. Her pictures portrayed the evolution of women's role in society for 50 years and not only are they a great source of inspiration, but also of visual information.

In 1981 she was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and in 1985 became a Knight of the Legion d'Honor.

*(Quote from "Lost in Translation", Sofia Coppola, 2003)

1 comment:

Couture Carrie said...

Amazing pics and quote!