Samuel Gratacap



Bilateral echoes the passage of exiles through southern Italy and the Alps, showing or suggesting it, looking for traces of it. It is also a photographic work on the landscape, on both sides of the border, from one world to the other. It is in a social climate of mistrust of the media and more particularly of images that I have tried to photograph and listen to people, first of all those who cross or try to cross borders. But the challenge of this new work is also to represent those who fight to make the world less violent by mobilising in the places where they live, as a way of repairing violence: where exile meets hospitality.


Invisible most of the time yet masters of their own image, the decision-makers must also be shown. They are exposed elsewhere and differently, in secret rooms or during international meetings on a large media scale. They are interchangeable, faceless but responsible. They vote on immigration laws at the EU level and are also able to sign agreements with third countries outside Europe to outsource migration management and keep undesirables further away. Behind the satisfaction of their poses and looks they encourage violence and discrimination.


Listen to the words of the artist

Samuel Gratacap


As a photographer whose work belongs to the fields both of visual arts and photojournalism, Samuel Gratacap is interested in the phenomena of migration and transit areas generated by contemporary conflicts. His projects are the result of long periods of immersion, the time needed to understand the complexity of situations and to restore what, beyond numbers, flows, maps, geopolitical data and media news, constitutes the heart of it: trajectories and personal experiences.

Christophe Gallois

Samuel Gratacap received a grant from the CNAP in 2012 (aid fund for documentary contemporary photography) then the BAL-ADAGP de la jeune création Prize in 2013. His first monographic exhibition, entitled La Chance, was held at the CRAC Langue-doc-Roussillon of Sètes in 2014. His two-year project in the Choucha refugee camp in Tunisia (2012–2014) also gave way to a monographic exhibition at the BAL (Paris) in 2015 and to a publication issued by Filigranes. The same year, he earned a special mention from the jury during the Plat(t)form portfolio viewing organised at the Fotomuseum in Winterthur, along with a research grant from the FNAGP and the Agnès b. endowment fund for the project Les Naufragé(e)s (Libya), exhibited at the Arab World Institute during the Biennale of Photography in the Contemporary Arab World. In 2017, he won the Arendt Prize for the European Month of Photography for his monographic exhibition at the MUDAM. The same year, he presented Fifty Fifty during the Rencontres d’Arles and Fotografia Europea: an exhibition on Libya, torn between war and the migrant situation. In 2019, he won the Résidence Sur Mesure programme (French Institute) as well as the Flux photographic assignment, initiated by the CNAP (French Ministry of Culture) for the Bilateral project, carried out between France and Italy. During the year 2019–2020, he was a resident at Villa Medici in Rome.


In 2020, he directed his first documentary-fiction movie Un Tipo Strano (45 min, Les films du détroit).

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