The Fishermen of Assouinde
This series casts an unexpected gaze on the life of the fishermen’s camp of Assouinde on the border of between Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Jeanne Taris immerses herself very deeply in a natural environment to present for us scenes of daily life, and exceptional portraits. Her own recollections convey this passion and the artistic sincerity which enlivens her uncompromising photojournalism.
“I remember that having arrived at night, I slept in a little hut on the beach. Late in the morning, I first saw women and children passing, carrying metal basins, walking along the beach. Then I looked beyond a wall which separated me from their destination, to discover the magical sight of the fishermen, who brought the whole of village life to a sudden standstill with the arrival of the canoes. Everyone then gathers on the beach. They unload the Sardinella from the long painted wooden boats, 12 metres in length. What is most extraordinary is to witness the hard work and the patience of the fishermen as they pull the boats from the water. Unforgettable too is the musician encountered on the beach, who by his presence gives rhythm to this timeless spectacle”.
At the heart of this work, the theme of the struggle against erosion is also implicitly addressed. Never re-framed, or re-composed, each shot becomes an expression of the exchange, and of the intimate relationship - well away from familiar paths - between the artist and her subject. So many captivating photographic gems which span this series, conceived as an invitation to travel, and to experience a salutary moment of introspection.