Descente de Géants

Children and young adults from residential care homes in Germany and France are hiking on mountain tops.

Warm thanks to Awouad, Djibril, Nasra, Seradj, Sofiane, Solea, Yasmine and Annabell, Céline, Malon, Marco and Mixian and their educators Ambroise Imbert, Daniel Niggemann, Steffen Thesmann; respectively in Maison d’enfants Les Mouettes in Marseille ASE (Aide Sociale à l’Enfance), France and Ev. Kinderheim Jugendhilfe Herne, Germany.

This short film (1minute in loop) was realised in the context of the national photographic commission “Performance”, initiated in 2023 by the French Ministry of Culture and implemented by the Centre national des arts plastiques (CNAP), in the context of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Descente de Géants is part of the La Montagne Allégorique, an ensemble of works consisting also of embroidered photographs and with reliëf inks silkscreened collage photographs.

La Montagne Allégorique questions the concepts of performance and competitiveness infused into society by the sporting media. Aëgerter chose to work with young people, approaching climbing as a metaphor for the journey of life to come. The familiar world of young people, their interests, desires and sensitivities mingle with the symbolic language of climbing and mountains, the ascent, the surpassing of oneself and the experience of personal satisfaction.
In response to the national photographic commission, Aëgerter chose to transpose the sport of climbing to the situation of teenagers living in specialised social care homes (run by the Direction départementale des affaires sanitaires et sociales in France and Jungend Hilfe in Germany).
This was the starting point for a participatory photographic project involving around twenty teenagers in care homes. These homes were located not only in France, Marseille but also in Germany, Herne, thus highlighting the universal values of the Olympic Games.