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Art Books

Raymond Depardon, Communes

45 €

Communes is a photographic essay by Raymond Depardon on the villages of the French Mediterranean inland region. Witnesses to history, these villages have long been abandoned, threatened by the “Nant concession”, a shale gas extraction project. After the inhabitants’ protestations, the project was finally abandoned in 2015. The villages have once again turned into living places, with their cobbled streets and old houses with jagged facades and scanty windows. Timeless havens of peace, where tranquility and cool prevail.

This new photo book gathers Raymond Depardon’s most recent series: the 80 black-and-white photographs that compose it were taken after the first lockdown, during the summer of 2020, in the south of the Massif Central in the French departments of Aveyron, Lozère, Gard, and Hérault.

The book includes a text by Salomé Berlioux.

Editor Publication Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris
Languages Bilingual French/English version

Hardback, 28,5 × 36 cm, 128 pages
80 black-and-white photographs

Design Agnès Dahan Studio
ISBN 978-2-86925-169-4
Release October 2021

Raymond Depardon

Filmmaker, photographer and international journalist, Raymond Depardon, born in 1942 in Villefranche-sur-Saône, holds a unique place in the field of the contemporary image. In 1967, he co-founded the Gamma Agency, and in 1978, he joined the Magnum Agency for whom he would carry out reports all over the world up until the beginning of the 1980s. While continuing to practice photography on a daily basis, he later turned his attention to documentary film, making use of the direct cinema genre, including the Profils paysans trilogy: L’Approche, Le Quotidien and La Vie moderne (2001-2008).


Salomé Berlioux

President of the association Chemins d’Avenirs, the first association accompanying thousands of young people from rural areas in France.

“I discovered in the spring of 2020 the list of the permis de Nant, an inventory of the 280 French villages designated for shale gas extraction by a Texan oil company. [...] During the summer, intrigued, I went to photograph these villages with my view camera by chance of the lights and the particular architecture of these houses of Occitania.” Raymond Depardon

Raymond Depardon, Communes