Michael Von Graffenried: Inside Cairo

Michael von Graffenried’s works realized in Algeria and Cairo represented a further development in his desire as an artist to get inside these particular societies where photographers were viewed with great suspicion, which itself demanded solutions enabling him to take photographs unnoticed. In order to do this, Graffenried began using a small panoramic Widelux camera, that he could hold discreetly on his chest, operating it without his subjects being aware of his actions. Functioning in this way allowed the artist the great advantage of creating images that totally removed the relation between the photographer and people being photographed.

Algerian reflections on a Swiss vision of a civil war

Enter Michael von Graffenried. This much-lauded 51-year-old Swiss-born photojournalist has worked in this region for nearly two decades. He has a special relationship with Algeria, where he first shot photos in 1991 and returned to shoot the country’s agonizing and bloody decent into civil war.

Von Graffenried’s Algerian work is the stuff of “Algerie: Photographies d’une Guerre sans Images,” the exhibition currently on show at The Hangar in Haret Hreik. A meta-exhibition, it features both a sample of the photographer’s riveting work alongside “War Without Images: Algeria I Know That You Know,” Mohammed Soudani’s 2002 documentary about Von Graffenried’s work. The Hangar is playing the film in a loop alongside the photos.

Check it out here.