I met Ahmed in 2017 in a social reintegration centre for young people in difficulty. Via social networks, we met again two years later. Diminutive, nickname, pseudonym: MIDO is a way of blurring the tracks of his uncertain trajectory. Presenting himself under different identities as he meets people, Ahmed hides as much as he wants to be discovered. Through a chaotic life path punctuated by painful elements, he survives with the dream of becoming a model. His great fragility, his self-destructive character as well as his capacity to reveal himself, convinced me to follow him in his daily life in the Marx Dormoy district of Paris.
Threatened with expulsion and then imprisoned, the project continues in new forms of writing. Indeed, despite his absence, we have remained in contact. From the photographs I took in the visiting room of the Centre de Rétention Administrative to the images Ahmed sent me from his prison cell, the pixelated image of old mobile phones became the means of reconstructing this context. The fragility of the low definition image coincides with the progressive loss of freedom.
The use of these different means of capture (digital, disposable, images taken with a mobile phone, archives,…) responds to a necessary aesthetic coherence in relation to the subject. From a fantasized reality to a very real confinement, from pictorial fiction to the abstraction of the pixel, the different qualities of the image accompany each aspect of Ahmed’s life. Like a fragmented mirror, these photographs paint the portrait of this young man in the making, still searching for himself in a society where he struggles to find his place.
Gennaio 03, 2020