A Journey from France to the River Maroni: An interview/ photo essay with William Barylo

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TE: What’s fascinating for me is that our discussion thus far has focused on politics, social issues and charity – we’ve not even discussed the aesthetic aspects of your photographic work. Maybe you can talk me through some of it briefly.

WB: What I wanted to focus on is the people I met and transcribe what I was feeling. I don’t have the words to describe it.

TE: I think the photos are so powerful they speak for themselves. Nevertheless, there are some big personalities who stand out and intrigue me. For example, there’s one shot of a kid chewing on something and one gent with a gigantic gun; who were they?

WB: All these people are Rene’s family. So, the boy holding the wheels is Gilly – one of his sons and maybe you’ve seen Sonny who is holding the rolls of explosives. The man with the gun you were talking about is Rene himself.

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TE: What was their response to your work?

WB: Really positive. When I got back to Paris I processed the pictures, printed them and sent them back and they were happy. But the most important thing we share is that, even if it’s not often, we’re still in touch.

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