Jean-Pierre Duvergé
FRANCE
“The face is what forbids us to kill” Emmanuel Levinas. My name is Jean-Pierre Duvergé. Originally from Bordeaux, I settled in Cergy-Pontoise (95000) near Paris since 1981. I grew up in the city at the same time as my children. I have been practicing photography since the age of 20 but my professional career has prevented me from devoting myself to it.
Cergy’s Faces: A French Suburb
Today, the time found allows me to realize the ideas that have germinated in me. Everyone is talking about diversity, everyone says its wealth, and in Cergy-Pontoise in particular where 130 nationalities cohabit. The dream for a portraitist. An image worth is more than long speeches, I decided to show this human diversity by photographing anonymous people who could be our neighbors, the shopkeeper we go to every day, a person who walks in the street that you look at and who looks at you, and smiles sometimes too. I privilege the faces because they express the deep being, the black and white to go to the essentials and to catch the glance, because it is through this that humans communicate: it is the portal of the soul. It is no longer a question of being photogenic, but of reflecting the beauty of the human race through its diversity. I am aware that man is capable of the worst baseness but what I want to show is the infinite tenderness and the depth which it conceals. If we feel this beauty, then, within us, ethics develop, that is to say a morality freed from social or cultural constraints because, as François Cheng suggests, “aesthetic emotion is born of ethics”. That is to say finally the recognition of the other as a subject. The album “Cergy’s Faces” became the fraternity’s album. It includes nearly 700 portraits to date but it continues to grow.

The Addis Foto Fest (AFF) was established in 2010 by award-winning photographer and cultural entrepreneur, Aida Muluneh. The festival is organized by Desta for Africa Creative Consulting PLC. AFF is a biennial international photography festival held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It has previously featured exhibitions, portfolio reviews, conferences, projections and film screenings in many different renowned venues. It is also the first and only international photography festival in East Africa.