Between 1993 and 2003, Bruno Boudjelal kept diaries about his repeated journeys to Algeria. Somewhere between travel diaries and personal diaries, the booklets are, simultaneously, an individual’s experience and Algeria’s present reality.
The aim of the work is not to show, nor to demonstrate. Neither is it to describe, to prove anything, to simplify a complicated situation, or to pretend to understand everything and to bring back perfect images. The aim is, above all, to take photographs in one of the countries where this is most difficult, almost impossible.
The aim is to say plainly, clearly and with modesty how the life of an individual can cross the path of history. How an ordinary life, an act of identification, thoughts on photography, can create the need to take pictures in Algeria, beyond factual anecdotes.
Algeria: a black hole and the symbol of the French guilty conscience. Algeria: a country of massacres, of missing persons, of devious policies and victimised people.
Algeria: the country of Boudjelal’s origins, which he visited rather late in his life, only when his father went back to his birth country.