Tattooed Algerian Women By Marc Garanger

pedrokoeler in Tattoo Artists

In 1960, photographer Marc Garanger, got drafted to the Algerian war and was sent to Ain Terzine, a small village in Kabylia.

As a political engaged and pacifist he was soon select as the regiment’s photographer, ordered by his commanding officer to photograph the villagers, so they can produce ID cards for each one of them. He took a big shine to photographing the Tattooed Algerian Women, unveiled, which was against their culture, they would naturally stare in to the pictures frowning in anger they could not act on. One of the things that stroke me the most in the face tattoos the women have, was that their facial features also create a strong image of what they might have gone through in their lives.

Photographer Marc Garanger
Photographer Marc Garanger

Femme Algerienne 1960, photo d'identite, commandee par l'armee francaise a la fin de la guerre d'Algerie, dans les villages de regroupements. ["en 1960, je faisais mon service militaire en Algerie, comme appele du contingent. L'armee francaise avait decide que les autochtones devaient avoir une carte d'identite francaise pour mieux controler leurs deplacements, dans les villages de regroupements. Comme il n'y avait pas de photographe civil, on me demanda de photographier tous les gens des villages avoisinants: Ain Terzine, Bordj Okhriss, le Mezdour, Souk el Khremis. J'ai ainsi photographie pres de 2000 personnes, en grande majorite des femmes, a la cadence de 200 par jour. Dans chaque village, les populations etaient convoquees par le chef de poste. C'est le visage des femmes qui m'a beaucoup impressionne. Elles n'avaient pas le choix. Elles etaient dans l'obligation de se laisser photographier. Elles devaient s'asseoir sur un tabouret, en plein air, devant le mur blanc d'une mechta. J'ai recu leur regard a bout portant, premier temoin de leur protestation muette, violente. Je veux leur rendre temoignage. Marc Garanger"]

By Marc Garanger
By Marc Garanger
By Marc Garanger
By Marc Garanger

Little is known about the tattoos and their meanings, many of then were tattooed by a traveling female gypsy called Adasiya, that would tattoo them in exchange for eggs, flour and shoes for her work. Nowadays Adasiya is nowhere to be found, witch is one of the reasons that the tattoo woman culture has vanished (the primary reason is that tattoo was banned in islam).

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In 2002 he released book called Femme Algeriennes 1960, make sure to look it up!

pedrokoeler

@PK

Staff Writer @ Tattoodo / Weird Ink Lover

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