Charles Delcourt and Florent Bardos, our readers picks #277, capture territories. The first documents an atypical village in Kosovo, and the second deconstructs the glamourous image of the Côte d’Azur.
Trained as a landscape architect, Charles Delcourt uses his sense of composition to produce well-balanced photographs. After documenting the daily life of the Isle of Eigg, in Scotland – one of the few self-managed territories on Earth – the artist, accompanied by journalist Clémence de Blasi, turned his lens towards Kukavica, a small village from Kosovo. “Which is one of the youngest states in the world”, he reminds us. Located 22 kilometres away from the capital, Pristina, the hamlet is surrounded by mountainous plains. A space lost in the wilderness, attracting an atypical population. “In 2009, actor Bislim Muçaj settled there to play in the film Les ânes de la frontière (The border’s donkeys, ed.). He was soon joined by the crew, and director Fadil HYsaj, who never left the place”, Charles Delcourt tells us. “In 2011, he had a 700-place amphitheatre built, and created a free festival. A mad millionaire also bought an exuberant castle there”, he adds. Packed with art, the village keeps growing, welcoming people who fled the capital. A magical and privileged space, building bridges between Serbian and Albanese cultures, and their common traditions, lost since the war.
© Charles Delcourt
After graduating from IJBA, Bordeaux’s school of journalism, Florent Bardos, 24, started sharing his time between photo reports and more personal projects. “I turned to the medium when I was 15, to capture my skater friends, in Monaco. But it wasn’t until 2016 that I started taking it seriously, and shooting my family with a film camera”, he explains. La Plage (The Beach, ed.), a quirky and sunny series, is the result of a commute by the seaside in Menton, South of France. “I would walk for about 20 minutes along the beach to come to and leave the office. I started taking my camera with me to photograph the people I met there. To this day, the project is still ongoing, growing every time I travel to the Côte d’Azur”, he tells us. Taken with a flash, the images give a surreal vibe to the landscape. Sunlight becomes blinding, and seem to “burn” the pictures. Inspired by Martin Parr’s work, Florent Bardos transforms his environment into an amusing theatre. “I love the way he looks at his subjects. Always empathic, while capturing the absurdity of some situations, the strangeness of our behaviours… I wanted to deconstruct the glamourous image of the Côte d’Azur, and show its popular side – the one observed on public beaches rather than private ones”, he says. A sweet and light series.
© Florent Bardos
Cover picture: © Florent Bardos