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  • Damien Williams

Week 3 Further musings

Updated: Sep 27, 2020

Mohamed Bourouissa’s Périphérique – Front row seat to Parisian ghetto

Mohamed Bourouissa’s Parisian suburb photos

Mohamed Bourouissa’s photos, like those of many photojournalists work, feature impoverished, stylish young African and Arab men and women, some who are immigrants while others are the children of immigrants, living in suburban housing projects on the peripheries of Paris. His works depicts the tensions and the many issues that have implications for the daily lives of young people who live in France’s suburb, or the metropolis’s peripheries also known as Banlieue1. The photographs, however, are posed, which is where the inspiration of the classical painting comes in, motionlessly elegant. His gripping images have used documentary-style content combined with formal compositions.


His work looks at socio-political issues that are prevalent in the lives of disenfranchised youth, seeming to call out on the audience to remove any rose-colored glasses and address the problems head-on. The work, while stunning, creates an uncomfortable reminder for those who ignore the periphery, for those who seem to forget that all is not well, serving to make the truth unavoidable. While some may turn on their heal to run to a nearby overpriced coffee shop where they can hide in the bliss of ignorance, where others may be inspired to address the social issues that this work forces the audience to see.

Mohamed Bourouissa’s inspiration

Mohamed Bourouissa’s pictures are expressive declarations pointing at the ethical fallout of photojournalism, focusing on the problematic power relations that take place within the photographic medium in addition to the voyeuristic nature of photojournalism.

Mohamed Bourouissa – Périphérique, 2007

Such honesty in the image.

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