Classic photos highlight NY Photo Fest this year

The New York Photo Festival may be a spotlight on new photography, but this year’s highlight is images that still burn 50 years after the fact.

From May 13-16, French photographer Marc Garanger’s photographs of Algerian women, taken from 1960-62 during the country’s War of Independence from France, will be on view at St. Ann’s Warehouse in DUMBO.

The photographs were not any act of artistic anthropology; rather, Garanger took them under order by the French Army to serve as identity cards for Algerian women, who, as a result, were forced to remove their veils and show their faces in public, often for the first time. The black and white results are piercing, some, such as a woman in braids looking straight at the camera — at you — haunting.

Some of these photographs are being exhibited for the first time here, as part of the Festival exhibition “Bodies in Question,” curated by Fred Ritchin.

“[Garanger’s] extraordinary photographs of Algerian women unveiled are much more than the identity photos which the French army required of him 50 years ago; they show the women’s defiance, sense of betrayal, vulnerability, and enormous strength,” said Ritchin. “As such they become a revealing marker in the clash of civilizations that continues, and even intensifies, today.”

New York Photo Festival at St. Ann’s Warehouse [38 Water St. between Dock and Main streets in DUMBO, (718) 254-8779], May 13-16. For info, visit www.nyphotofestival.com.

— Meredith Deliso

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