Julia Pirotte (1907-2000), born in Konskowola, Poland, in a poor Jewish family. Arrested at 17 for her involvement in communist youth, she spent four years in prison. In 1934, she fled Poland helped by the International Red Aid. Arriving in Belgium, she married the worker and trade unionist Jean Pirotte, and met the future resistance fighter Suzanne Spaak. With the latter, she undertook photography studies and began a career as a photojournalist.
In May 1940, following the invasion of Belgium by Germany, it took the path of exodus. She settled in Marseille where she surveyed the region for the local press.
His reports show the precarious living conditions of the inhabitants of the Old Port, the lives of the Jewish women and children of the Bompard camp, the maquis of the resistance. Resistance that she joined very early with her sister Mindla Diament. Liaison for the FTP-ME, she carries flyers and weapons and she makes fake papers. On August 21, 1944, alongside the insurgents, she photographed the Liberation of Marseille.
After the war, she joined Poland. She took a double look there: a country where anti-Semitism did not die, but in reconstruction. She ended her career in the late 1960s. Since the 1980s, his photographs have been shown in numerous exhibitions in Arles, New York, Charleroi, Paris and Warsaw.
The exhibition presents original and modern prints preserved in the collections of the Shoah Memorial and several international institutions. She proposes to explore the life and career of a committed artist whose photographs testify to her social and political sensitivity.
General curator: Caroline François, in charge of exhibitions, and Bruna Lo Biundo, independent researcher
Design: Estelle Martin.
Mezzanine at the Shoah Memorial in Paris