© Anita Pouchard Serra

The Project

Anita Pouchard Serra

 2021 — Oran, Algeria – Paris, France

About this series

Reina, my mother, was born and raised in Oran, Algeria, before settling in France after the French-Algerian war. Fifteen years ago, through an online forum, she met Abdelbaki, an Algerian born after the war who had settled in my mother’s childhood district in Oran. Since then, they have not stopped talking, pooling their experiences and memories together to construct a transnational history of the war’s legacy, the city they both belong to and their personal emotions.
At a time when France continues to wrestle with its colonial past, and the tensions in French society that its violent history with Algeria still produce, my project aims to explore memories of the war through a three-way conversation. It combines archives collected and produced by Reina and Abdelbaki, our virtual correspondence as well as still and moving images that I have produced, inspired by their past and our fragile present. I explore flashbacks from my daily life, memories of what I didn’t experience but still feel, the power of the virtual space they created, until our first physical encounter, together in Algeria, on Reina’s first return trip to her childhood home.

© Anita Pouchard Serra
© Anita Pouchard Serra
Portrait of Reina in France and collage of a photography of Reina and her authorization to leave the country during the last weeks of the war, attached to a google image she sent me when she was trying to explain what she saw one day in her street during the war. The sentence she sent me with the picture says : "I saw something like this but covered by newspapers." October 2019. © Anita Pouchard Serra
Screenshots from a facebook video made by Abdelbaki around the Arenas in Oran, for Reina. In the middle of these frames, when his voice says " your school was here" I inserted an old photo of her home. This is the neighbourhood where she grew up before Algeria's independance. Video : 2017. Collage : 2020. © Anita Pouchard Serra
Fac-simile of a spanish newspaper in 1962, about spanish citizens coming back to Alicante, thanks to government boats. In red, my grandmother and uncle. On the right, screenshot of my aunt and grandmother from a TV coverage at the same date. I have wondered for years on how to represent migration and refugees until I discovered that my own family has been on the other side of the camera. © Anita Pouchard Serra
1962 is the end of the war in Algeria, but not the end of violence and massacres. A few days after my family left, a massacre happened in their city. I took this picture in a slum of Buenos Aires where I was working. The vision of this date and blood-like paint stain was a real shock. These reminders are part of the flashbacks I am working on. Buenos Aires, 2020. © Anita Pouchard Serra
Collage of the last Spanish passport of my mother before becoming french with a photo of me (5 years old) with the traditional Spanish dress, sent by the Spanish family for Christmas in France. 1990. © Anita Pouchard Serra
Vintage photo of my mother dressed as a traditional spanish woman, shot in my house in Buenos Aires. October 2019. © Anita Pouchard Serra

Photographer: Anita Pouchard Serra
Nationality: french-argentinian
Based in: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Website: www.anitapouchardserra.com
Instagram: @anitapouchardserra

Anita Pouchard Serra is a French-Argentinian photojournalist and visual storyteller, based in Buenos Aires and working in Latin-America. Her work revolves around questions about borders and personal  territories, and social issues like identity, migration , women’s rights and territory with a transdisciplinary approach from drawing to performance.

National Geographic Emergency Fund Recipient and a Pulitzer Center grantee (2020)
WE WOMEN grantee by Photoville and Women Photograph (2019-2020)
MOVING WALLS fellow by Open Society Foundations ( 2018-2020)
International Women’s Media Foundation grantee and fellow ( 2017/2018/2020).

She has been nominated twice to the 6×6 Global talent program by the World Press photo.
Publications: The New York Times, TIME, Bloomberg, Washington Post, Le Monde, Amnesty, Days Japan, Wired, Geo Magazine among others.
 Exhibitions in Argentina, France, Uruguay, Mexico, Spain and USA.
Visual storytelling teacher and lecturer in Argentina with Strudelmedia Live and Pulitzer Center.