Children of Arnaudin

When Frederic Desmesure, photographer and artistic director of this project, proposed to me to intervene with seven pupils to ten years in order to initiate them with numeric photography, I had a doubt. This discipline, often dubious for the adults did not become it straightforwardly improbable for children of if young age. The use of complicated software as well as the handling of film cameras could, constantly, block L `enthusiasm of these young people, even to disgust them of an art however very accessible…
But it was without counting on the smartness and a pointed visual perception of these avid pupils of communication. The intervention proceeded in two stages: two days whole of catch of sight and a day's work on computer, the laboratory of the digital image.
The meetings of catch of sight, envisaged or not, all were carried out in Labouheyre near the population. The children, with a direction of framing and setting in scene often acute, directed their model like would have made perhaps sometimes a professional. The diversity of the characters who lent themselves to the play (Tradesmen, craftsmen, employees, elected officials, pupils and even gendarmes of the road) and of the selected sites (Town hall, trade, streets, workshops, garages…) led the apprentice-photographers to reconsider the serious one of their mission: they became the privileged witnesses of the daily life in their environment. They thus discovered an aspect of the photography which often escapes much among us, that of the observation and the study of the man.
These pupils, transformed into anthropologist-ethnologists during three days - without the knowledge - became the worthy heirs to one of their large ancestors: Felix Arnaudin, photographer and ethnologist. These children of Arnaudin not only showed an great attention and of a great interest but also showed us, thanks to their plastic works, which they had not only one glance but also a capacity of creation which exceeds that of a good number of adults. Very quickly my perplexity was thus gummed with the profit of an astonishment interfered a respect due to the creators.

Jean Hincker, 2005