Identity

May 2016

 

When I did my internship in the diplomatic service of the French Consulate in Munich, I was responsible for the classification of the archives. All consular records of the nationals - i.e. people protected by the diplomatic representatives of the French State, when they reside in another country - are stored in the cellars of the building, on large metal shelves, in alphabetical order.

 

These ID photos are from the consular records of the 60-70s. I got interested in the concept of identity through these photographs portraits, individual identity but also collective by confronting, in the same space, a panel of individuals who all have the French nationality. Starting from this simple comparison of ID photos, one can question the economic, historical and social context of the time and bring out some highlights (in-migration of the 60s, decolonization, 70s fashion, the student protests of 1968, the emancipation of women ...). A time when the ID photo was still "speaking" since it was not normed as it is nowadays. 

© Clémence Elman 

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