Is there a country more photogenic than France, the birthplace of photography? No other country has such a strong love affair with photography as France - every cobblestoned street, every doorway is a photograph waiting to happen. More often than not, the France we carry in our heads is a collage of images by 1950s legends like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Willy Ronis.
France, that France.
Ever since Nicephore Niépce captured some hazy rooftops around 1827, the impulse to ‘photograph France’ has proven irresistible to amateurs and professionals alike, an eternal gaze that’s recorded both the history and daily life of the nation.
During the Covid pandemic in 2020, Australian-born photojournalist Tony Maniaty documented the life of the French as they tackled their greatest crisis in a generation. His evocative monochrome images stepped back from the relentless news cycle to capture the rhythms and hopes of the people, their optimism and fortitude - inspired by masters like Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Doisneau, with their unique visual style and ethos of shared humanity.
To enjoy a special preview video of the exhibition's photographs:
A frequent visitor to France, Tony Maniaty spent two years in Paris as SBS TV’s European Correspondent, and in 2020 lived in Provence and
Paris. He currently resides in Sydney. Along with photography, Tony’s career has included broadcast journalism with the ABC, BBC and SBS,
writing fiction, and as Associate Professor of Creative Practice at The University of Technology, Sydney. He is currently Features Editor
of Australia’s Head On Interactional photography magazine, and the
Creative Head of StudioTettix, specialising in contemporary photographic prints. In early 2022,
Tony Maniaty published ‘Our Hearts Are Still Open: Paris with Love and Hope’, a collection of his French images with an essay by Australian
philosopher Raimond Gaita (‘Romulus, My Father’). The book and a selection of prints from France are available at the StudioTettix
Running from Tuesday 1 - Friday 29 April,
Alliance Française de Sydney, Level 1, 257 Clarence Street 2000
Reception opening hours:
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,
9:30am - 12:30pm
1:30pm - 5:00pm
From Tuesday 8 February