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Matinee: 'Odyssée 2022' Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

7 May 2022

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 447th in our series of Saturday matinees today: Odyssée 2022.

This 2:40 segment produced by Radio France Internationel, the French public broadcast service, reveals how British photographer Rip Hopkins engaged the people of Corbeil-Essonnes where the 10th edition of L'Oeil Urbain (the Urban Eye) photography festival is being held.

The festival, which features photographers from around the world, runs until May 22.

We've heard time and again how the photographer, as an outsider, has to put down the camera and engage their subject on a human level to gain the trust necessary to capture an image that is true to that subject.

Hopkins didn't have time for that. Instead, he mingled.

His idea was to create a series of photos for public display on billboards around town showing the people of the town doing what they usually do and consequently making them a part of the show.

And to make it even more fun, Hopkins hid himself in each image.

"As soon as you make people laugh," he explains, "and as soon as people understand what the game is, it becomes accessible to people who don't necessarily have the tools to understand photography."

So for his Odyssée 2022 project, he disguised himself by dressing just like the people in the group he was with. Even, horrors, when it came to the local police or a couple of clergymen.

The video presents the images from the project as he narrates what he was up to. We won't spoil the fun by describing the shots. Or telling you where he was in each of them. But he's in there and it is fun.

And, boy, do we wish we'd thought of it first.

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