Camille Gharbi

1984, France
Nominee - Prix Elysée 2025

Camille Gharbi (FR, 1984) is a French photographer and visual artist. Her work takes a long-term look at contemporary social issues including gender-based violence and co-existence, examining the ambivalence of human nature. Somewhere between documentary and conceptual photography, her approach questions the state of the world, playing on distance and aesthetics to evoke empathy and sensitivity. Seeing art as a vehicle for transformation, the intimacy and subjectivity of her pictures encourage a more politicised vision.

Among other venues, her work has been shown at FotoRio in Rio de Janeiro (2023), Paris’ Biennale Photoclimat (2023), the Circulation(s) festival in Paris (2019), and the Nuit de l’Année des Rencontres d’Arles (2019). Camille Gharbi won the Prix Fidal Youth Photography (2018) and the BBA Gallery Photography Award (2021) for her series Preuves d’amour and received the Visa d’Or Award for the Best Digital News Story from Visa pour l’Image (2020) with Le Monde, and the Grande Commande Photo 2022 sponsored by the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.


Intimes convictions

Intimes Convictions deals with the construction of power relations in our societies, seen through the lens of sexual violence. It examines the significance that violence takes on when it occurs in our most private interactions happen. This photographic work is based on the thorny issue of chemical submission, a practice that involves administering a psychoactive substance to someone without their consent for criminal purposes. Combining documentary and conceptual photography, archives and videos, the work sheds light on the invisible structures that shape our societies.

Everywhere, sexual violence is notable for the few convictions it leads to, and for the recurrent surprise that it provokes. Sexual violence is characterised by the fact that it is mainly perpetrated by men and is difficult to prove. There are several reasons for this. There is the difficulty of proving the event, which stems from the very nature of the facts and the frequent lack of evidence. It involves proving what can no longer be seen, or what has not been seen.

In some cases, the aim is to demonstrate what is no longer even remembered since the person concerned was deprived of his or her conscience. There is also the tolerance that most societies show towards this type of case, which can be explained by the culture and all the fictional narratives (cinematographic, literary, advertising, etc.) that structure our imaginations. Real facts elude us. What remains are the plausible facts and the images we form.

Taking as its starting point a news item that exemplifies a real social trend, this work seeks to highlight the terrible banality of rape culture. It is a visual reflection on the always subjective way in which we look at the world; the very thing that shapes our intimate convictions – and also on the possibilities of change.