Samir Maouche

Samir Maouche
Algerian photographer born in 1988
Lives in Chelles (France)
Supported project:

While working in the visual communication sector in Kabylia, Samir Maouche began to cover the “Hirak”, a series of citizen demonstrations against the system conducted from 2019 to 2021 in Algeria. He develops a photojournalistic and documentary approach on the thirst for freedom of the Algerian people in general and the claim of the Berber identity in particular.  

In 2020, he moved to France, only two days before the total lockdown decreed following the health crisis. He discovers a ghostly Paris and, in this postcard decor emptied of its occupants, the undocumented migrants to whom he gets closer to testify about their life, their daily survival and their hopes shattered by the reality of the clandestine exile. At the same time, he trained in documentary photography at the EMI-CFD and saw his work published, exhibited and rewarded in France and the Maghreb.

Series produced during MP#03
Rana Fiha (on fait avec)

They are doubly marginalized. They are the Harraga, illegal immigrants from all over Algeria, who have crossed the Mediterranean to France in the hope of a better life. They think they’ve escaped unemployment or unhappiness, but find themselves in a worse situation than ever before. Their condition proves precarious in this Paris of mirages. A new life, in a new environment, which they describe by the expression “la rivière aux loups” (the river of wolves) to express their daily suffering. A permanent state of survival, made up of street sales of cigarettes, psychotropic drugs and neuroleptics, which they consume themselves, in a last-ditch escape from their tragic reality. “We make do”: the opening line of any discussion when we ask about them. A fait accompli, assumed. With no happy ending. Some end up giving up and returning voluntarily to their country of origin. As for the others, their ordeal continues.