Fisheye witnessed their first French photo battle, in Paris. A crazy project, imagined and created by the street photography collective called GASP. Go back with us to this exclusive event, carried by the pictures of #MINOU (#PUSSY, ed.), the all-female winning team.

“Before the show, the concept of a photographic battle was a huge question mark (…) we did not even understand the rules when we read them”, one of the team participating in the first ever edition of “The Battle: one ring, several photographs, lots of sweat!” tells us. The project, imagined by the GASP collective – composed of 7 street photographers – seemed crazy indeed. Yet, on Monday, March 12th, at 7:30 pm, it is time to enter the ring: a nice pub situated in the 19th arrondissement of Paris, called Aux Petits Joueurs (The Small Players, ed.). And, by the end of the night, we are won over.

The concept is simple, and was inspired by rap battles and theatresports: 8 teams fighting each other, with pictures, all evening long. What are the rules? Each team gets 20 sec to choose an image from a bank filled with 60 pictures they selected beforehand. The team then “sends” the picture onto the projector. The audience and the jury then decide – by screaming and clapping – which photo won, between the initial proposition, and the response from the other team. The competition is tight. “When we have to face our own work to come up with a good reply, we realise that it is hard to find a strong picture”, the winning team confides.

© Julie Franchet

#MINOU: a relentless team

Three hours of screams, clapping, picture (and fries and beers) throwing were enough to decide between the 8 teams. #MINOU – Marie, Virginie, Julie and Clémence – won the first French photo battle. “When we saw the crazy communication around the event, we knew we had to play the self-mockery and humour cards”, one of the members explains. Their name is a reference to the #MeToo movement. Worried at first, the #MINOU photographers quickly let go of their stress. “By the end of the first round, they were unleashed”, Cyril Abad, founder of GASP, comments. As much as the audience, warmed up by the two crazy hosts – wearing boxing gloves and red shorts – Alexandre Liebert and Patrick Cockpit.

The girls did not know each other before the show, “the team was formed on Facebook. Our only link? We were all members of Hans Lucas’s studio”, they tell us. This is what makes the photo Battle magical: photographs get to show off their pictures, and to work with strangers. “They could dig into everyone’s photo collection, to choose the best response”, Cyril adds. Skills that were mastered by the team. “It is funny to see how one picture can be the perfect reply to another”, Marie, a #MINOU member says. Whether it be religion, conflicts, or kittens, each photographer knew when to send the right picture. “The relevance of the response is more important than the mere beauty of the images”, Cyril explains, happy to have gathered 180 people, turned hysterical by this visual battle. Are you curious to discover a wonderful new way to expose photography, by breaking its codes to transform it into a live entertainment? See you at the next edition of the Photo Battle, whose dates will be announced on GASP’s Facebook account.

© Marie Magnin

© Marie Magnin

"Mummy I'm scared", ou un ensemble photographique en noir et blanc peuplé d'individus et d'animaux en gros plan, insolites, louches, morcelés, fantomatiques. "Mummy I'm scared", a photographic entity in black and white populated with people and animals closed up, strange, fragmented, unusual, ghostly.
"Mummy I'm scared", ou un ensemble photographique en noir et blanc peuplé d'individus et d'animaux en gros plan, insolites, louches, morcelés, fantomatiques. "Mummy I'm scared", a photographic entity in black and white populated with people and animals closed up, strange, fragmented, unusual, ghostly.

 © Clémence Losfeld

«Ma masculinité, c'est l'expression d'un pouvoir à travers la sexualité, celui de prendre et celui de céder. Ou vice-versa.»

© l. Virginie Merle, r. Clémence Losfeld

© Julie Franchet (Cover photo)