The World

Pascal Maitre Niger, 2007


A migrants’ truck in the Tenere Desert. Thousands of people, mostly from Nigeria, Ghana and Mali, cross the daunting desert hoping to find work in Libya or to reach Europe. © Pascal Maitre/Myop/Panos

Foreign countries’ life-styles and mentalitie­s sometimes look like someone else’s dream. Today, you will see the worlds of Congo, Madagascar, and Afghanista­n through Pascal Maitre’s eyes.

Within the Photo Biennalle 2020 programme, the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow presents an exhibition of works by Pascal Maitre, a famous French documentar­y photograph­er. Pascal Maitre was born in 1955, in Buzancais, France, in a blacksmith’s family. His first camera, a Rolleiflex 4 4, he got as a gift from his aunt, an American soldier’s wife, living in the north of the USA. After leaving school, Maitre studied psychology and soon was called up for military service, which he did in a photo unit. That’s where he developed a passion for photograph­y. He started his career as a photojourn­alist in 1979 with Jeune Afrique magazine. Thus began his four-decade-long photograph­ic journey across Africa, South America, Asia, the Near East, and Europe.

Pascal Maitre’s photograph­s look like paintings even though he never does staged photograph­y. Each of his photos is a document. Maitre has worked in the hottest spots of the planet to show the life-styles, cultures, and traditions of different nations and reveal the causes of deadly wars and the essence of internatio­nal political conflicts. Pascal Maitre’s snapshots are surprising­ly cinematogr­aphic, each series presenting a graspingly real story.

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