Pierre Bourdieu: The Archive

Infos

In 2001, Pierre Bourdieu entrusted his entire archive of photographs taken during his fieldwork in Algeria between the years of 1958 and 1961, and representing, as he noted, his earliest and at the same time his most topical work, to Camera Austria with the intention of exhibiting and publishing these photographs for the first time.

The archive is available for consultation for study purposes. Due to their fragility, Pierre Bourdieu’s negatives, original photographs, and personal notes can be consulted by researchers only on appointment. Working prints of all photographs as well as an extensive selection of publications by Pierre Bourdieu can be consulted in Camera Austria’s study library on appointment.

Intro

The archive currently comprises 994 negatives (format 6 cm × 6 cm), 216 contact and work prints (format between 6 cm × 6 cm and a maximum of 12.5 cm × 12.5 cm). The main body of the archive, alongside the negatives, comprises 230 large-format prints with a format of 23 cm × 23 cm and a smaller group with a format of 30 cm × 30 cm, that Pierre Bourdieu collated in three themed albums. There are no negatives of 93 of these 230 prints, i.e. these prints are now the only sources available to us. All titles and dates are given by Pierre Bourdieu, place names have been added where it was possible to derive them unequivocally from the photos or from publications. We retained the numbering of the negatives as the archive numbers of the pictures, with a system of letters indicating whether the archive contains an original print with a negative (O), an original print without a negative (R) or only the negative (N). Finally, we created work prints from all negatives and scans of all original photos and the main pictures of the exhibition and book so as to avoid the risk of further damage to the originals.

ca_bourdieu_cover_02   ca_bourdieu_cover_01   ca_bourdieu_cover_04

Since taking these photographs, Pierre Bourdieu only published few of them, and the vast majority of his photographic documentations so far has remained unknown. Those familiar with Bourdieu’s work will recognise the photographs that were chosen as cover pictures for the first editions of his books: “Le Deracinement” (with Abdelmalek Sayad); “Travail et travailleurs en Algerie” (with Alain Darbel et al.); “Algerie ‘60” and “Le Sens pratique”. But photographs from the collection were also used for articles and magazine interviews. Numerous photographs used in publications, however, can no longer be found in the archive and in some cases there is not even a negative as a great many of the perhaps 2000 pictures taken in the four years of work were lost during moves.

The photographic documents by Pierre Bourdieu are above all the result of scientific work, and in this sense they must be viewed in a constructive context together with the texts that he wrote at the same time, and thus have a specific historical and thematic framework. The first task in our work, then, was to scrutinise the photographic documentations for contexts that Pierre Bourdieu analyses in his writings. We attempted to read Pierre Bourdieu’s archive and all of the circumstances of this collection of negatives and prints, comments and the collection of sketches contained in the “fiches d’Algerie” (collection of notes from Algeria), in the context of Bourdieu’s studies. Pierre Bourdieu himself had already begun to tentatively combine pictures and texts, and we were able to follow this model.

The Archive

  • Christine Frisinghelli präsentiert das / presenting the Pierre Bourdieu Archive
    ORACLE Conference of International Photography 2014.
    Photo: Joana Theuer

  • Christine Frisinghelli präsentiert das / presenting the Pierre Bourdieu Archive
    ORACLE Conference of International Photography 2014.
    Photo: Joana Theuer

  • Christine Frisinghelli präsentiert das / presenting the Pierre Bourdieu Archive
    ORACLE Conference of International Photography 2014.
    Photo: Joana Theuer

  • Christine Frisinghelli präsentiert das / presenting the Pierre Bourdieu Archive
    ORACLE Conference of International Photography 2014.
    Photo: Joana Theuer

  • Christine Frisinghelli präsentiert das / presenting the Pierre Bourdieu Archive
    ORACLE Conference of International Photography 2014.
    Photo: Joana Theuer

  • Christine Frisinghelli präsentiert das / presenting the Pierre Bourdieu Archive
    ORACLE Conference of International Photography 2014.
    Photo: Joana Theuer

  • Christine Frisinghelli präsentiert das / presenting the Pierre Bourdieu Archive
    ORACLE Conference of International Photography 2014.
    Photo: Joana Theuer

  • Christine Frisinghelli präsentiert das / presenting the Pierre Bourdieu Archive
    ORACLE Conference of International Photography 2014.
    Photo: Joana Theuer

  • Christine Frisinghelli präsentiert das / presenting the Pierre Bourdieu Archive
    ORACLE Conference of International Photography 2014.
    Photo: Joana Theuer

  • Christine Frisinghelli präsentiert das / presenting the Pierre Bourdieu Archive
    ORACLE Conference of International Photography 2014.
    Photo: Joana Theuer

  • Christine Frisinghelli präsentiert das / presenting the Pierre Bourdieu Archive
    ORACLE Conference of International Photography 2014.
    Photo: Joana Theuer

  • Christine Frisinghelli präsentiert das / presenting the Pierre Bourdieu Archive
    ORACLE Conference of International Photography 2014.
    Photo: Joana Theuer

  • Christine Frisinghelli präsentiert das / presenting the Pierre Bourdieu Archive
    ORACLE Conference of International Photography 2014.
    Photo: Joana Theuer

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Pierre Bourdieu: Fiches d'Algérie

  • Pierre Bourdieu: Fiches d'Algérie
    Bourdieus Notizen aus der Feldarbeit in Algerien /
    Collection of Bourdieu’s notes from his fieldwork in Algeria.
    © Camera Austria 2015

  • Pierre Bourdieu: Fiches d'Algérie
    Bourdieus Notizen aus der Feldarbeit in Algerien /
    Collection of Bourdieu’s notes from his fieldwork in Algeria.
    © Camera Austria 2015

  • Pierre Bourdieu: Fiches d'Algérie
    Bourdieus Notizen aus der Feldarbeit in Algerien /
    Collection of Bourdieu’s notes from his fieldwork in Algeria.
    © Camera Austria 2015

  • Pierre Bourdieu: Fiches d'Algérie
    Bourdieus Notizen aus der Feldarbeit in Algerien /
    Collection of Bourdieu’s notes from his fieldwork in Algeria.
    © Camera Austria 2015

  • Pierre Bourdieu: Fiches d'Algérie
    Bourdieus Notizen aus der Feldarbeit in Algerien /
    Collection of Bourdieu’s notes from his fieldwork in Algeria.
    © Camera Austria 2015

  • Pierre Bourdieu: Fiches d'Algérie
    Bourdieus Notizen aus der Feldarbeit in Algerien /
    Collection of Bourdieu’s notes from his fieldwork in Algeria.
    © Camera Austria 2015

  • Pierre Bourdieu: Fiches d'Algérie
    Bourdieus Notizen aus der Feldarbeit in Algerien /
    Collection of Bourdieu’s notes from his fieldwork in Algeria.
    © Camera Austria 2015

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Contact

Custodian
Christine Frisinghelli
frisinghelli@camera-austria.at

Study Library
Barbara Stummvoll
T. +43 / (0) 316 / 81 55 50 12
library@camera-austria.at

© Fondation Pierre Bourdieu, St. Gallen / Camera Austria, Graz.