Dust & memories

This serie is as much an attempt to recollect a pivotal 2 years period (2018-2019) in our life as it is a healing process. It’s even quite literally a cauterization process, as I came to realise that silver nitrate was used to heal a wound and avoid infection, as well as in the chemical process of photography to reveal an image.
This body of work (from the last 2 years and from older family photos) aims at letting the light comes through on what is lost, and what is alive, what once was in darkness and what vibrates in plain sight.




“The problem’s not that the truth is harsh but that liberation from ignorance is as painful as being born. Run after truth until you’re breathless. Accept the pain involved in re-creating yourself afresh. These ideas will take a life to comprehend, a hard one interspersed with drunken moments.” – Naguib Mahfouz (Palace of Desir)



I am all about dust and memories, the experience of being you,  me, Ari is meant to disappear like tears in the rain.
Everything that I believe, everything that I own, everyone I love, even my flesh and bones, even my little personal persona in this space and time thing that is the universe right now, anything and everything around is meant to disappear at some point in time, that’s time, that’s entropy, that’s karma, evolution, i ching …. call it X.
We are just that, we are just dust.
And yet something stays, some memory or gut feeling or a strange dream or a subtle silver lining… about what truly means to be alive, something universal, archetypical, basic, primal, radical, animal, human, extraterrestrial, transcendental, spiritual, the void that we see when we get back to the dark room of our mind when we close our eyes and we think stuff repeatedly craving for turning the wheel again and again of some sexual fantasy or some bad vibe with mum, and then all of the sudden we are talking to this void, like if it could answer or it could listen. And we ask wishes to this void, to this life… like it owes us something.
Who told to us that this was gonna be easy, who promised us that since the first breath it would be eeeeeasy peasy, who signed a contract to be loved, to feel complete ?
I lost my track, monkey mind, I’m trying to get back to my point that we are memories, we live making memories, living in memories, retasting some memories, making them a fundamental source of daily evasion of reality, for deep learning about others and yourself, as a pilar for your inner world.
But why do we remember things that we haven’t live ? Why do we miss people that we haven’t met ? Why do we miss peace like we ever had it ? Why do we feel so much more than expected ? Why are we so troubled, still very much students of life, never experts, not even technicians of life, so ignorants, so wise, so deep, so low, so high, so lost ?
And at the same time, like a dancing yin and yang, dust has memories, and memories are dust, clouding our eyes and heart with all those sticky images, names, faces which float around everywhere we look at reality, they are always there like ghost or dying cyborgs, or moving floaters in our eyesight.





The Hanged Man


“I am in this position because I wish to be. It is I who cut off the branches. I have freed my hands of the desire to seize, to own, to cling. Without abandoning the world, I have retired from it. With me you can find the will to enter the state where the will no longer exists, where words, emotions, relations, desires, needs no longer bind you.” Arcanum XII, the hanged man speaking from The way of Tarot of
 Alejandro Jodorowsky

This set of photos, shot in the course of the years 2017-2018 in the region of Ruschegg (Switzerland) tries to express a certain feeling, a human feeling, maybe the actual state of mind of humanity.

Between dreams and reality, between desires and material constraints, our aspirations to elevate ourselves from the mud to higher horizons and goals clash against gravity or wear away slowly with the friction of time. The impenetrable stillness of our world like an immense wall in front of us.

And then what do we do ? We do nothing. We sacrifice, we hang voluntarily our wishes to dry and we just keep going. Maybe that is actually the only way to go, to a higher state of consciousness, accept and let it be, like in the 56th poem of the Tao Te Ching:


Those who know do not talk.

Those who talk do not know.

Keep your mouth closed.

Guard your senses.

Temper your sharpness.

Simplify your problems.

Mask your brightness.

Be at one with the dust of the earth.






From the Greek ευδοξος (eudoxos): ευ (eu) “good” and δοξα (doxa) “notion, reputation, honour, glory” so it means “good reputation or good opinion”.

Eudosia is my grandmother.

She was born on August 10th 1921 in a tiny village close to the atlantic coast of Galicia.

She was the oldest of two daughters. She only went to school till the Civil war began. She always felt that her mother was harder on her, that she had preference for her sister. Her father died when she was little so she had to go to serve to a richer house at a young age, which was kind of common at that time and place.

She married Jose and had 5 children: 4 girls and the youngest, a boy. Jose, my grandfather, died when the boy was still a baby, falling into the well of the house and breaking his neck. We still use the water of that well.

Being already a poor family, the children had to work since a young age, but when Eudosia became a widow, she sent her daughters to Swizerland, like many others in the region, to make their living and to send money to rebuild the family house. One stormy night the roof of the house flew away, Eudosia and her son hide in a corner. Barely under cover, with the rain falling and the wind blowing, he asked her if the wolf would come to take them (at that time there were still wolves in that region).  His son was always her favorite, and some of her daughters have never forgiven her for pushing them away.

When I was a baby my grandmother took care of me for a little while, as my mum had to go back to work. Every summer me and my cousins went to pass some time with her. I used to sleep next to her in her bed, and we would talk endlessly about things I can not remember, stories for children about a chicken and a fox, stories of her life,  her views about life and death and what should be done and what should not.

She told me that when she was young she loved to dance, to play the tambourine and to sing traditional galician songs in the parties brought by the youngster of the village every week from one house to another. She told me about the scarcity of an already hard rural life that has shaped her soul to a survival mode, the lack of pleasure, the value of hard work, the community inter-dependency, as well as the need to be normal and keep living life like every body else. The over importance of food, a clean house, the looks of others, the constant comparison and competition with others,  the ideal of material confort and the preference for quantity over quality. All of that is deep inside our collective psyche.

Now she is 96 and she is senile, she always asks : “where am I ? When am I going back home ?”, even if she is still living in the same home since whenever, with the same restlessness than the rest of her previous life.

Nahia is my daughter.

Nahia was born on August 8th 2011. Nahia means in Basque the shapes and moves made by the wind on the wheat grass. The first six months of her life she wouldn’t stop crying despite our attempt to live by the idea of attachment parenting (breastfeeding, baby wearing, bedding close to her…)

From my abuela to her there is a big jump and yet, there is a continuity. She is a métis made of mixed languages, cultures and differences; and at the same time she comes to resolve the same inner pain that has been repeated again and again: the lack of deeper connections,  the lack of understanding of real love, the hunger beyond limits for tenderness and care from others and to others, the emotional cannibalism, the quest for meaning out of the automatism, the sense of it all.

We and our families are waves of energy crushing ones against each other to reach shore, to caress the warm soft sand of some sunny beaches somewhere in our dreams.

Die Zürchers



We stayed at the Zurcher’s for about three weeks. The first days were all about discovering their  universe:  just beside the road, hidden from the view, between two hills down by the river, a hidden paradise made of lovely people, hardworking people, tough, strong, resilient, creative, sensitive, educated, loving with their children, their trees, their animals, open with foreigners, searching something still, like the rest of us, the missing secret ingredient to a peaceful mind,  a contented heart.

I’m 40 years old, if I’m lucky I’m at the middle of my path here on earth, I should know things, I have been places, I had experiences… So how come the world keeps surprising me like I haven’t seen a thing ?  In a random conversation preparing dinner I asked her if he was her first love, she said no, so I supposed that he was her last, she said neither. The complexity of their relation unfold like a very well deliver plot. I was thrilled to discover what makes them so different, what makes it so difficult , what makes it so beautiful, that unique energy in the whole place,  the sense over the mess, the tsunami still on going.

A farm in the middle of nowhere in Switzerland turned out to be the center of the world: opening my eyes to new horizons in partnership, to diverse and unique ways of being together,  of evolving together.

Under beauty,  under any beauty, there is a  current of constant pain that sustains that beauty. Palm trees and white sunny beaches have mosquitoes at night, order and security in western civilization feel claustrophobic lacking the breath of life. Everything has a price on it, not because the universe is a mean motherfucker, it is just a matter of energy,  polarities and balance.

They would be the survivors in an end of the world scenario . They will be the heroes of a new world. So brave, so free, so ascetic, so driven, so powerful yet so vulnerable human creatures. Such a sharp trace. Such an uneasy mark. Such a distinctive nature. Such a myth,  die Zurchers.

(Higher resolution images here)







Taking a long way home

“You look Moroccan”

“Why don’t you have a Moroccan passport ?”

“Didn’t you go to settle things ?”

“Why don’t you speak arab ?”

I don’t know.

I don’t know  even though I’m French by my mother, Moroccan by my father and  I used to spent my summer holidays between Rabat and Agadir with my father’s family until my 13th birthday.

I have memories from this time.

I went back in 2014 for 3 weeks with my wife and my daughter after a break of more than 25 years, to talk to a father who was out of my life for almost the same amount of time. I went to get some answers, I guess. I’m a father too, now, after all.

The meeting didn’t happen. I went back a second time in december 2017 and it didn’t happen either, because he was abroad.  It was like a compressed reenactement of our story.

Why was I here, to be left with useless questions ?

And the fear, and the lack of sense and the stupid anger mixed with relief and the misunderstanding and my childhood memories flashing straight to my 42 y.o man’s eyes and this feeling of disconnected belonging.

So, I took some pictures to recreate a link and make friends with doubt.

I didn’t shut it out. I let it speak.








Tiny Windows



When I was little, I used to love watching the lit windows in the houses and buildings at night: the warm light in the living rooms, the cold blue from the strip-lights in the kitchens, the cozy ambience from the bedroom windows… these lights and colors  in the dark seemed to me like stars in the night sky, signs of life in parallel universes. I wondered who was living there, what they were doing, what they were feeling, if they were feeling something similar to me.

Many many years later, I’m at this three storey british house, brown bricks, with a magnolia tree full of pink flowers blooming at the entry door. When I arrived at this house, I was instantly magnetized by the energy of the place, soaked with past lifes, traces of memories everywhere. Between the kitchen and the main living room there was a tight and curved corridor, kind of a secret passage.  In this dark corridor there was a tiny window from where you could guess the garden outside, only guess because the view was almost covered by the leaves of a bamboo tree.

This specific window called my attention , the quietness of this corner, the light in the dark of the corridor, there was a mystery there, so i took a photo and then another one… How to capture the way a place feels just with a photo? But I kept trying and almost every time I passed by this place I took a photo, just to try to catch the intangible magic of it.

The next day before I left, I asked her what was her favorite place in the house,  and she told me the tiny window.


For me, photos are just like windows. They let enter light, they let us guess what is inside.

But photos are not enough to tell the whole story about what these encounters with the people I photographed have meant to me. Photos can not tell about the conversations we had, the stories you shared with me,  youth wounds, family history, wishes and hopes for the future…  thanks for opening up to me, listening to you, watching you, I understood things about my own path.

This photographic project around intimacy & family life began two years ago with a set of photos called Aux sources, to date we have photographed more than 15 families in three countries with different origins and backgrounds.

My days in London with the wonderful families that welcomed me there have helped me to see that we are all connected, that many of us share this common ground of struggle from which we raise, to raise our own family. We’re trying our best to be better than our parents for our children. Not an easy task, knowing that our early life experiences have shaped us to become who we are now. Anyway, despite our most committed efforts, someday it will be our turn to be the ground that our children pierce to raise from it. And there’s a soothing joy in that, like a tiny window in the dark, like a promise at dawn.

The miraculous

“I have an intense desire to record life as I see it. As long as I’m amazed and astonished, as long as I feel that events, messages, expressions, and movements are all shot through with the miraculous, I’ll feel filled with the certainty I need to keep going. When that day comes, my doubts will vanish.” – Louis Faurer

Le coeur contenté

Merci, merci pour cette journée, merci pour toutes les journées.

C’est peu de dire que je vous aime.



Quelquechose de sensible et d’important

L’odeur des arbres baignés dans le soleil, le bois et la pierre qui râpent doucement les mains, le sable et les sourires, les gestes et les regards suspendus. C’est qu’il faut encapsuler tous ces prodiges, travailler à les rendre visibles…



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