RESTRICA (Regards sur les exils scientifiques contraints d'hier et d'aujourd'hui) is a project of photographic portraits conducted in collaboration with the PAUSE program. This photographic and interview work is co-directed by Berlin-based photographer Pierre-Jérôme Adjedj and Pascale Laborier, professor of political science at the University of Paris Nanterre.
Since December 2018, they have been meeting with researchers in situations of forced exile to testify about their singular experience. They contribute through images and words to make them visible and bear witness to what they have lost: objects, places, a home, friends, colleagues.
What is a portrait that would seek to signify exile, whose ambition would be to go beyond the statement?
"We started with this simple question, which did not admit of a simple or unique answer. The answer was only conceivable in dialogue and co-construction, requiring the elaboration of an ad hoc creation process.
From this preliminary reflection came a process allowing the juxtaposition of elements (objects and photos) to the face that restore the history of the person photographed. These photos representing the country of origin and the host country and these objects, personal or related to the field of research, are placed together in the device and superimposed at the time of the shooting (i.e. without any subsequent photomontage).
Each time the camera is triggered, an attempt is made to create a palimpsest through transparencies, where the different layers respond to each other in a way that goes beyond what the photographer and the subject had envisaged. The process was repeated until each person had "the best of the imperfect photos", like an eternally provisional result."
Pierre-Jérôme Adjedj et Pascale Laborier
Short film « À bas les grillages »
April 30, 2020 marked the 300th day of imprisonment in Iran of the French-Iranian researcher Fariba Adelkhah. That evening, Pascale Laborier's documentary "À bas les grillages" (2020), directed with the participation of Pierre-Jérôme Adjedj and Béatrice Hibou, was screened in front of the Paris office, as part of the #chezmaddalena project, in tribute to Fariba and other victims of dictatorial regimes. #chezmaddalena is a spontaneous initiative of wall projections made from the home of the artist Romina De Novellis during the confinement related to the pandemic of covid-19 in France.
"À bas les grillages" deals with exile, confinement, migrants, researchers in danger, a long sequence is dedicated to Fariba Adelkhah. The photos of the RESTRICA project are also presented.
« Standing for freedom : portraits of scientists in exile»
The exhibition "Standing for Freedom: Portraits of Scientists in Exile" was launched in January 2021 at the Cité du Design in Saint-Étienne, then will travel to other sites in France and internationally.
The special issue Hommes & Migrations
« Standing for freedom : portraits of scientists in exile »
In partnership with the journal Hommes & Migrations, a special issue "Standing for Freedom: Portraits of Scientists in Exile" has been published to accompany the eponymous exhibition of portraits made in the framework of the RESTRICA project.
Articles, testimonies and photographs make up this publication, which recounts through images and words the forced scientific exiles of yesterday and today.
Pierre-Jérôme Adjedj is a photographer and author. He lives and works in Berlin, on different types of photos (portraits, cities, bodies...), whose common denominators are a questioning of identity in the broad sense, and the relationship between memory and history. In particular, he designed with the historian Nicolas Offenstadt the exhibition Éclats DDR/RDA Splitter, presented in 2017 at the French Institute in Berlin. He is currently presenting with Amandine Thiriet À mur découvert, a multimedia installation (photo, video, sound, text) based on testimonies of people who lived through the Berlin Wall, as part of the cycle 89 face au présent initiated by the Institut français de Berlin. For 2020, still with Amandine Thiriet, he is working on Devenir 50 (provisional title), an installation project based on the testimonies of women from all over Europe.
Pascale Laborier is a professor of political science at the University of Paris Nanterre/Institute of Social Sciences of Politics. She has directed the Marc Bloch Multidisciplinary Research Center in Berlin. She has published on cameral sciences, the sociology of Berlin (La Découverte 2016) and more recently on the sociohistory of forced academic exile. She is a Fellow of the Convergence Migration Institute and in 2019/20, Senior Fellowship for the Innovation through Migration Program (GHI West, UC Berkeley). As part of her personal and collective research (LIBERADE/Freedom of Research for Academics in Danger and Emigrants Project funded by COMUE UPL), she conducts interviews and videos deposited at La Contemporaine.