"We were a privileged generation. Our enemy had a face. War had a name […] Today's reasons for living and dying are no longer as clear as then, and each one of us questions the meaning of his own fight, that often leaves him more wounded than we got in those days."
These words my grandfather wrote after the French Liberation are challenging me.
Never having known him, I wanted to know more about what led him to think them, and then write them.
I followed the tracks of his adventurous escape from occupied France through Spain and North Africa before he joined "la France Libre" in England, guided by the autobiographic novel written by one on his Parisian fellows, Jacques Mercier, who my Grandfather met again at the Miranda prisoner camp. The title of the book, "The tourist", displays a feigned detachment towards these events.
Here I tried to revive accurately the feelings he might have experienced, picking clues on my way, trying to see deep down below their surface. This observation is like sensing Time breathing, before freezing it in a photograph.
I attempted to experience how the liquid memory of light breathes in the darkroom, with extracts of the book in mind, as I was interfering with the printing process, to turn this enquiry into a tribute and a search for other answers…