"Particular signs

Against racism, UM students show their faces. A nomadic photographic exhibition, to be seen until June on the sites of the University of Montpellier.

Fascinating, luminous glances, which seem to call out to the walker... An extraordinary photo exhibition, created on cubes almost 2 m high. If this singular work leaves the walls and is exhibited outside, in places open to the public, it is to better meet the spectators...

Striking portraits

Their names are Oneil, Xueping, Malika and Vera.

What brings them together? They're all students at the University of Montpellier. They are between 18 and 24 years old.

What sets them apart? Almost everything, at least on the surface. They are like all the men and women on the planet: so similar, so different.

A difference that the exhibition has fun materializing in unexpected ways. Each student is identified by first name, age, nationality... and a little something extra: each has suggested a phrase to the photographer. A simple phrase, unusual or serious, quirky or enigmatic, that says something about him or her.

"Living mirrors of the UM

Jean Bowaou, a 24-year-old Guinean with an explosive smile and a white bandage on his forehead, announced: " Slipped on his bike on the wet pavement of Peyrou: six stitches ". For Ines, it's an enigmatic line of humor: " I share her mother's opinion: 'Men are like lawns! Others point out that they belong to a visible minority: "I've seen no more than five other redheads like her on campus," confides Margaux, an 18-year-old Frenchwoman with the smile of a Madonna.

" These faces are the living mirror of the University of Montpellier. They bear witness to its openness to the world and to diversity. On the palette of these glances, the photographer paints the whole of humanity. They are an invitation to joy and encounter. They shine with the joy of living together. They are the pride of the University of Montpellier," explains Jean-Paul Udave, in charge of the anti-racism and anti-Semitism mission at the UM.

Travelling exhibition

The "Signes particuliers" exhibition, produced by photographer Karl Joseph at the initiative of the UM, can be seen on the Richter campus until October 9, and then at a number of university sites:

  • Montpellier Triolet: 03/23 to 04/10
  • Montpellier Richter: 10/04 to 30/04
  • Nîmes - IUT: April 30 to May 15
  • Montpellier Faculty of Education: May 15 to May 29

Thanks to all the UM students who agreed to take part and let themselves be captured in a sentence and a photo...

The photographer

Karl Joseph was born in Cayenne, French Guiana. From an early age, he wanted to capture in images the realities of this land marked by oral tradition. From then on, photography has been his passion. In 2011, he co-founded the Rencontres Photographiques de Guyane festival. Considering himself first and foremost a documentary photographer, he is particularly interested in the relationship that people have with their territories, notably through current migratory phenomena.