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The Song of the Bear

France Dubois (Belgium)

I love the snow on my friend’s hair. I want to look like her. She breathes life into me. I’m afraid of losing her. Sometimes, I dream there’s a black and white tornado in my belly. The sea churns in my head, I sleep badly.

In the forest, I connect to the invisible, to the universe’s secrets. I feel no pain now. It’s as though I’m inhabited by a wild spirit. Between dog and wolf, the time of mysteries. On the brink of the invisible. Moments where different worlds coincide.

I whisper with the spirits of the woods. Time becomes circular. I am she, she is I and we are the forest. I feel strong, inhabited by multiple lives. We complete a ritual that exists since the dawn of time. It is our secret. We are specks of dust, trees, blood and rain.

I am no longer sad, for I write a tale on eternity.


France Dubois unrelentingly explores spaces of intimacy; there is a small almost transparent border between dreams and reality, the visible and invisible, which stretches like a taut thread between the two universes, where it takes little for individuals to cross to the other side, into different worlds.

The photographer uses images of the vacillations in our lives to show our capacity to move from one state to the other. Taking subjects like adolescence, relationships with other people, absence, history or sickness she explores our ability to overcome our weaknesses and emerge stronger from them, like a continual new beginning. Passing is gentler surrounded by light, sickness becomes a work of art, melancholy transforms itself into pure energy, and the driver of creativity.

France Dubois’ strength lies in her minimalist photographic style which has a powerful aesthetic appeal. The characters in her photographs appear fused with their environment, as if nature has given them the strength to overcome these moments of self-doubt, to reengage, draw on nature, and regenerate, as symbols of rebirth. The universal history she weaves from her own, almost shameless standpoint, make her photographs an accurate and poetic reflection of our own inner lives.