About This Project

Florence Cuschieri


Their names are Mohamed, Youcef, Mustapha, Ahmed and Ali. They set off months or even years ago from North and sub-Saharan Africa and arrived in Briançon after crossing the Alps that separated Italy from France. They are there in a latent state – after weeks of long walks. The presence of these men in France was not a matter of choice, but rather the result of certain unavoidable circumstances. They had no prior connection with France or any other European country, yet they found themselves stuck in Briançon, right on the border. Over time, they came to fully embrace this land as their own. Together we roamed the vast expanses of the Briançon mountains. Interaction with the landscape, immersion and contemplation were the rhythms of these times. Walking is seen here as an outlet, a reflective state; an escape from the sometimes-gloomy daily routine. I saw tired bodies, bodies on hold, subject to the decisions, authorizations and obligations of the state authorities. Mohamed, Mustapha, Youcef and Ali find themselves trapped in this situation, going around in circles, drawing circles in the landscape, like the swallows, whose rapid, fluid movements evoke freedom and hope. Like the waiting refugees, the swallows are faced with uncertainty, fear and obstacles. They are looking for a hospitable land, a place where they will be accepted with kindness and where they can find peace. La Ronde des Hirondelles paints a portrait of men in suspension. Between the fragmentation of bodies and landscapes, the photographs depict the daily lives of these men in the heart of the Hautes-Alpes, their relationship to walking and the suspended time that temporarily links them to this territory. The project also highlights the complexity of asylum seekers’ situations, struggles, and resilience in the face of adversity.



7th edition