Sep 16, 2016
Maxence is an artist from Belgium who enjoys portraying people. Framed in beautiful compositions, his visual stories are human narratives that transcend and touch. Making a great use of light, the series presented here, “Les Mitrailleurs”, portrays the lives of some car scrapers in Kinshasa, Congo, a group of people with a particular way of living that resists and looks for identity as most of us.
Next we want to present an interview that we had with Maxence:
am - First of all thank you very much for your contribution to our project. Can you please introduce yourself for us?
MD - My name is Maxence Dedry, I’m 27 years old and I live in Liège, Belgium. I graduated in 2011 from the Higher Institute of Art in Saint-Luc Liège and I continued my studies in cinematography in the INSAS, Brussels. I work as a freelance photographer since 2010 and I now work as videographer too.
am - How did you start in photography?
MD - I started photography when I was 16 years old. It had always intrigued me so I started taking night classes.
am - What inspires your work?
MD - Humans! I always say I use photography to meet people. That’s what I like, having a conversation with a person I don’t know. When somebody catches my attention, I’ll introduce myself and after a few minutes I’ll ask if the person is ok to pose for a shot.
am - What is “Les Mitrailleurs” about?
MD - «Les mitrailleurs» is a photographic series that enlightens the people working in a scrap market in Kinshasa. The District 1 in N'djili - one of Kinshasa’s 24 boroughs -, is the Scrap Market. These N'djilians dream of elsewhere, but meanwhile it is on elsewhere-bound wrecks where they’re working. “There’s a history between N'djilians, resale and mechanics”. And they’re resisting, despite the eviction attempts, lack of public support and their second-row position on Lumumba Blvd. Electrical resistance, joint resistance, a resistance to life’s tricky vicissitudes, resistance as a means of survival. This photographic series is an opportunity to make them travel, to open a window on their everyday lives, their reality, their dreams. The car, the symbol of the American dream, of mobility and exchanges between complete strangers in the back of a cab, transcends boundaries and provides an opportunity to escape for these scrapmen, leaving their way of life behind, destination: tomorrow. This project is a collaboration between Jean-Sylvain Tshilumba Mukendi and me. We two were visiting the market; Jean-Sylvain wrote a one page text and I took the pictures. It was also supported by the Kin Art Studio who gave us a place to stay for a month. We’ll go back there in 2017 to make an exhibition around the market.
am - Who are your favourite photographers / artists?
MD - Photographers I’d say Harry Gruyaert, William Egglestion, Boogie, Saul Leiter, Alex Webb, Viviane Sassen, Pieter Hugo, Bruce Davidson, Chimodu, Todd Hido, Jamel Shabazz, Eugene Richards, Gregory Crewdson, etc. Artists: Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Francis Bacon, Stanley Kubrick, Basquiat, Syd Mead, John Alcott, Roger Deakins, Vilmos Zsigmond, etc.
am - When you are not taking pictures, what do you do?
MD - Walking around the city, running, seeking photographers’s work on the internet.
am - If you could travel and stay in a place for one year, where would you choose to go?
MD - Morocco or Japan.
am - Favourite songs / bands at the moment?
MD - Listening to LEFTO’s mixes. Seeking for music is something I never do and this guy offers a nice condensed of today’s best songs in numerous 1 hour mixes. Easy and efficient. A must. I’m stuck into listening to hip-hop for a few years now. But I also listen to Nick Drake, Marcos Valle, Trent Reznor, Joanna Newson …
am - What’s your favourite movie?
MD - I’d say «There will be blood» from Paul Thomas Anderson.
am - What are you reading at the moment?
MD - Congo, by David Van Reybrouck.
am - Do you have any project in mind that could be a personal or professional challenge?
MD - Make an interesting documentary about these resellers from N’djili :-)
am - Thank you very much for your time and your contribution to analog magazine.
MD - Thanks to you!