Madagascar (1991-)

Pierrot Men



“When I shoot, sometimes I understand what I see, but sometimes I feel things without understanding them. I trust my instincts, leaving the field open to catch the moment. Day after day, I’m trying to find and unveil tiny fragments of life and time, without being able to express them with words, for lack of finding the right ones. In fact I could only say one thing: I take images, just images. Because thinking of an image, it’s taking the risk to see it disappear”


With the disappearance of French censorship on Madagascar an unprecedented freedom arose on the island for photographers. Many of them, including Men (b. Madagascar, 1954), left their studio and began making engaged work in which the reality of the society on the island was stripped bare. Men developed into a man of contrasts. Strong contrasts between black and white are characteristic of his work. He transforms parts of the everyday models he photographs into poetic visual statements. Men is presently owner of three photo studios in Fianarantsoa. Since 1985 his work has been included in all sorts of exhibitions around the world. In 1994 he won the Mother Jones Award. Together with the photographer John Lieberberg he produced a large-scale reportage on the southwest of Madagascar. In 1994, together with photographer Bernard Descamps, he also published his first book, Gens de Tana. He began an extensive reportage on the village of Saotanana in 1997.