For decades, people with disabilities have lived outside the city and have been represented as a body, an object of care, before being considered as people in their own right. The project carried out by the association APF France handicap Occitanie and the Boutographies aims to raise awareness of disability and to get out of the traditional representations through the author's photography.
Partner of the residence
ARTIST ELSA BEAUMONT
A graduate of the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie d'Arles in 2005, and a freelance photographer and author, Elsa Beaumont's photographic practice is based on a documentary and social approach. Her long term projects consist in the realization of portraits in color, to put forward the excluded or marginalized people in our society. By crossing social and artistic views, her photographs seek to break down representations and overcome prejudices.
In a society where every person must be free to move around, the notion of accessibility is crucial. Accessibility is what allows people with physical disabilities to move around independently. The brake, the obstacle is therefore often not linked to the person but to the space that welcomes him, offering him or not access and circulation spaces. This reveals an ambiguity, a paradox in the representations. These people are considered to be handicapped while the non-adapted space is in fact what hinders them.
These photographs try to take into account these real or symbolic, concrete or mental barriers. Each place, each space translates a certain relationship to the body, to a presence, put in tension and able to translate an interior state.
The question arises in particular of the reversal which takes place when the spaces made accessible, adapted or dedicated produce the opposite effect. They reinforce in certain cases a form of setting aside, of placing apart, and produce a sensation of liminality undergone by the disabled people ("Liminality designates this situation of threshold in which the individual floats in the interstices of the social structure" Marcel Calvez*). To be caught up in the meanders of an architecture that makes you circulate in zigzag, to follow lines until a potential entrance, or to be isolated in a space dedicated to your situation of handicap as behind a glass wall providing a sensation of suffocation; neither completely included, nor completely excluded, to evolve in an in-between, in an intermediate situation. Through these photographs, I wanted to show generic spaces, in which the photographed people become witnesses and sensors of situations physically and mentally experienced, and thus give access to this state of being in the world.
* Disability as a threshold situation: elements for a sociology of liminality", article published in "Social sciences and health" vol. 12, March 1994.