Photographer Jacques Perez Gives Tunisia a Fair Image

Published October 11th, 2021 - 06:20 GMT
Jacques Perez
Jacques Perez (Instagram)
Jacques Perez asserting at the age of ninety that 'the eye makes the image, not the camera'.
At 90, photographer Jacques Pérez keeps his "eye" on Tunisia Tunis.

Jacques Pérez, considered the father of photography in Tunisia, continues to "look" at his country with curiosity.

Born in the Medina of Tunis, Jacques Pérez is a humanist photographer whose main model in Tunisia. For him photography is an intellectual process, chance can help him but is not at the origin of his work. 

An exhibition of his work named “Souvenirs d’Avant l’Oubli” (Memories before Oblivion) is being held until the end of October in a palace in the medina of Tunis, the old city where he was born and still lives.

For the exhibition, he chose "emblematic photos" of his work, "always framed, geometric and always inhabited" by people.

“For me, Tunisia is obvious. I have always lived in Tunis, first in the Passage district, where, in my childhood, my neighbors were Sicilians, Maltese, Sardinians ... then in the city center, and now in the medina, in La Hafsia, the old Jewish quarter."
Jacques Pérez 

He has transmitted throughout his career the images of his country that his fertile gaze recorded, people, places, traditions, the passage of time with precision, poetry. Its collections have been acquired internationally. He is also one of the founders of the Tunisian Cinémathèque.

“I didn’t study to take photos, no need. It’s above all about seeing. I like to look at 360 degrees and show what I saw,” he said to AFP.

Perez said he began photography at the age of 11 or 12. From a Tunisian father and a German mother, Jacques Pérez is the wise witness to the soul and the history of his country, through his photographs. Traveling through eras, populations, places, retracing human activities he caught a history on his photos.

As a photographer, he was very versatile. From monuments to landscapes, including portraits, nothing escapes its objective. On the other hand, he prefers to take a photo of a human being.

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