“The act of photography constantly questions us, and it demands a responsibility from us as individuals.
From introspection to meeting towards the other, the space is tiny, this exploration makes sense of what we are and want to share. "VG
Vanessa Gilles was born in 1971 in Nîmes. When she discovered photography, she chose the universe of body expression and movement. It is not performance that interests him but language at the service of emotion.
After several internships with the Rencontres d'Arles, in 2015 she decided to devote herself to photography. She thus integrates the continuing education of the National School of Photography (ENSP) in Arles and exhibits during the Off des Rencontres a first series on the theme of resilience, which she calls "Without illusion".
In 2016, she continued “24 The Workshop International photography masterclass” with which she produced Dosta “Words and memories of gypsy women”. See below
In 2017, she presented a photographic film in which she gave us the poignant testimony of Marie with her voice slaughtered by barbed wire.
2018, Museum of the Camargue with the collective exhibition "Maries, Mères et Marais"
2017, Anne Clergue “Dosta” Gallery
"Dosta", Never again in the Gypsy language.
Winner of the New Writings Prize 2019, Vanessa Gilles reveals the pains of a discriminated people, in "Dosta": a moving film, especially as it conveys a double emotion, documentary and artistic, on a subject yet so dark.
Project produced in 2016, photographic film of 26 minutes.
DOSTA "Words and Memories of Gypsy Women"
Dosta means Basta.
It is above all a story of encounters, of sharing with Indo-European women from all sides: Manouches, Gypsies, Roma, ... all these Gypsy women have in common discrimination and exclusion.
In September 2015, I went to the Quai de la Gabelle in Arles, to reception areas for travelers in the south of France.
I didn't really know what I was looking for.
Winter days spent together, we discovered each other with tenderness.
Some have confided their silences to me.
One major note dominates: their dignity.
In May, during the Gypsy pilgrimage to Saintes Maries de la Mer, I met by chance, among 15,000 people, Esméralda Romanez *, a 69-year-old Gypsy woman.
This great soul with a valiant heart has been fighting the injustices done to the poor for more than thirty years.
In August 2016, during a day spent at home, making the world into poetry, she spontaneously decided to entrust me with a magnificent memory ... the testimony of her aunt Marie, interned in various concentration camps in France during the second world War. This gripping and overwhelming testimony tells how she no longer even has tears to mourn the death of her children. It is a memory for the Gypsy youth, a universal message for humanity against barbarism. A message of Peace, of dignity, a cry of love to remind us that only the present moment exists.
* Esméralda Romanez is President of the European Federation of Romani Women and Travelers, also President of the AMIDT Association for the Memory of Gypsy Internment and Deportation