About the Project

About the Project

The Marseille Papers is the main title of a personal archive of identity photographs dating from the early 20th century until approximately 1970. Most are of families and individuals from southeast France, others are of people who lived in Algeria before independence; some are also from Morocco, Tunisia and Bulgaria.

I began collecting the photographs in early 2014. The archive initially consisted of 1,200 images, the majority of which are black and white, but it is still growing. I now have around 2,000+.

The archive forms the basis for the projects listed below.

Unravelling An Archive

The House of Sleeping Beauties

Searching for Alain

Isobel's Dance - This project is a response to my time at the Dos Mares Residency in Marseille during June 2017. As part of the research into the lives of the people from the archive, my initial idea was to explore the concept of home. Home as a physical space, in a city where most of them had lived. Also a place for some, Marseille was their first port of call when arriving in France. When I started, I had not thought at all about the form the project would take. Feeling disorientated, I started by photographing all aspects of Marseille. Yet I soon realised I was confronting my own feelings of being at home. Not in the physical sense but my identity and sexuality within the echelons of this multicultural city.

For more images, please visit my dedicated Instagram site @themarseillepapers.