Maquis & Mer

Maquis & Mer (2020) is a selection of analog photographs taken with my grandfather’s old Pentax SP 1000 during the span of 2 weeks in Corsica. It’s an attempt to capture the abundant breadth of life contained on the island.

Corsica is an island closer to Italy than its French counterparts, and has an unparalleled richness in land and sea. The name of the island stems from the ancient Greek work "Kalliste," meaning "the most beautiful."

Corte is a small town to the north but feels like the true center of Corsica. Surrounded by mountains and valleys with rivers still ice-cold from snow melt in September, it’s a special place. Historically, the town and its impressive fortifications, was the nexus of Corsica’s independent movement from the Genoese around 1755, led by Pascal Paoli. 

Paoli wrote up a constitution which defined the first modern democracy of Europe. In his constitution women had the right to vote, almost two hundred years before France granted women the right!

Eventually, Corsica was forced under French rule 14 years later as a form of repayment from the Genoese. There’s much more to the history, but I could not believe how little of Paoli I knew. Understanding more about the revolutionary history of the island gave a new dimension and reinforced my desire to use the land as a subject for the photographic work. ☀︎

Medium: 35mm analog film
Publication: 2020

©2024 Elisa Michelet