Jean-Manuel Simoes

About

French-Portuguese, born in 1964 near Paris, France.
Lives and works in Paris, France.

Jean-Manuel Simoes began his career as a photographer at the age of 33. With a special interest in all human subjects, his practise was primarily oriented towards reporting and press work.

After years as a photojournalist, he decided to investigate new territories by engaging in a photography of proximity, that is far from current events and their sensationalism. He is interested in themes of society and daily life. His love for paper makes him a photographer faithful to this material, which could be seen as an intrinsic medium of his practise.

In 2005, during the riots and violence in the Parisian suburbs such as Clichy-Sous-Bois, Simoes was on site to cover the events. Convinced that he had not reached the bottom of things, he returned on multiple occasions to these urban spaces - often reflecting desperation - to work the subject more thoroughly. Contrary to the big media, Simoes wanted to get to know the daily life of the people, that were quickly forgotten after the big events, and show the humanity to be found there. Far from the sensational, he met the people living there, often wary of the photographer, to present himself and establish a certain sense of confidence.
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"The people here get by with very little. The public infrastructure is weak. Urban, social and immigration policies have all failed. This is where the French population is the youngest, the most dynamic, the least inhibited by convention. The walls here are gray, the streets are filthy, and public services are spotty.Yet it is a world filled with energy, scheming and violence. The people might not seem friendly at first, but the codes of conduct are different in this place, where cameras are not welcome. What little hope remains, is now disappearing."

JM Simoes Chiens de la Casse, 2013
Chien de la casse - “Junkyard dogs” is what young people call each other in France’s rough suburban neighborhoods.

Chiens de la casse photo series is the fruit of this sincere and open approach through which Simoes shares an honest and personal reading of these neighborhoods that are said to be sensitive. Published by Editions Michel Husson in 2013, this is the first book from a photographer who believes that the first step towards knowledge is accepting what one sees.

JM Simoes black and white photographs often seem to be snapshots. The blurry quality of some of them reinforces the idea of vibrant dynamics, of a life that takes place on the streets rather than in the cellular apartments. The images of those daily scenes show us an almost exclusively male world that revolves around boredom and monotony but also around pride and the importance of community, when one is left alone by the political authorities.

website:
http://simoesjm.com/
www.10online.com
online portfolio

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