The Powers that Be (2022 - Ongoing)
Vol. II : Paradis En Enfer

Since October 2022, I have been working on a new body of work titled “The Powers that Be.” This phrase has constantly been present in my life, often accompanied by frustration and hopelessness. I want to explore what this phrase means for different people in different parts of the world and, in turn, how these people relate to me.

The second volume is titled “Paradis En Enfer”. In February 2023, I was selected as the second recipient of the MEP - Maison Européenne de la Photographie – Collection Gervanne + Matthias Leridon – Cité internationale des arts residency. During my residency, I wanted to develop this work further by shifting my focus to the urban landscape in a big city like Paris. Specifically, I was interested in how the geography of the urban landscape here affects people’s psychology. Very early in my time in Paris, someone shared with me the quote, “France est un paradis peuplé de gens qui se croient en enfer/ France is a paradise populated by people who think they are in hell” by Sylvain Tesson. This concept of a “paradise in hell” is something I thought about constantly as I navigated different spaces in Paris.

© Thero Makepe 2023