Denis Darzacq


I met Denis through my old friend François Gautret. François told me that a photographer from VU’ agency was looking to shoot a photo series with experienced dancers. Denis, who lived in the 19th arrondissement in Paris, had the intention of creating a counterpower to the negative media surge around the urban riots of 2005 that, having originated in the Parisian suburbs, was contaminating Europe. These riots were a cry by a group of people fed up with injustice, an expression of distress following the electrocution of Zyed Benna and Bouna Traoré, who were hiding out of fear of reprisals after a police raid. They were only 15 and 17 years old. 

We agreed that the young people’s energy had not been considered or used wisely. He was upset when people thought that certain photos had been retouched. We didn’t doubt for a second the energy motivating us, carrying us through the cold during the photo shoots. Even when Denis was cleaning the ground and especially when the duty of memory was bearing down on us each day.  

What emerged from “The Fall” was one of my greatest responses and most beautiful collaborations. 

The photographic series “The Fall” exemplifies the link between Denis Darzacq’s photojournalism and his artistic research. Inspired by a news story on hip-hop dancers and created without using digital collage, the series depicts young people caught in mid-air. Their bodies impose dynamism, lightness and plasticity on the monumental geometry of the urban space they are disrupting. The artist borrows expressive forms from street culture, using them as tools of emancipation. Young people lift off long enough to be free and unburdened by social norms and restrictions. “The Fall” won first prize in the World Press Photo Contest in 2007 in the category of Arts and Entertainment.

PhotographeR :

Denis Darzacq






François Gautret, Véronique Dumont, Patrice Fantin dit Patoche et Bintou Dembélé