Les Bords réels

Pre-purchase Adrien Selbert's new book, to be published by Le Bec en l'air.

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Les Bords réels

The Real Edges

“Far from the photographic work usually carried out on survivors, this series offers a very personal vision of the permanence of the conflict. "

J.B Chastand, M, Le magazine du Monde

"Here, war is no more, and it is not yet peace. 

It is the in-between time that we call « post-war ». It is the time comprised in the dash between those two words. Only nobody knows how long its length.

And that’s exactly what I came to photograph. Bearing witness, documenting, requires a rigour I am quite incapable of summoning. Busting ghosts is what I want. Hunt down the «in-between» time within the substance of the images.

This book is the never-ending dash between the war and its aftermath." 

"Spectral landscapes, marked faces of survivors, tired poses ... It is a country trapped in its past that the French photographer Adrien Selbert shows in his series.".
M, Le magazine du Monde


I imagined this book as a wandering in a forgotten land.

A territory whose name and history are unknown. Images put like riddles which remind us of other images, which are like reminiscences, which collide and echo each other. We go through this book as we cross a strange and tormented dream.The images follow one another without the meaning of the story being given to us. We cling to these faces, to these postures, to these landscapes as to the images of a wordless tale. No caption accompanies the photographs to let the reader on his own journey, be put in that sleepwalking feeling, which was mine when I traveled the country. Page after page, we move forward in the fog of a never-ending post-war period. I like the idea that these images could have been taken everywhere else. A shrewd eye will recognize here and there signs that show the Slavic character of the photographed territory, but nothing that brings us back to a specific context. As well, the text which accompanies the photographs tells us the story of the country whose name only appears at the end. The author of the text itself remains unknown. Captions take the form of a list, a short text, sometimes poetic, sometimes factual or personal. I like the idea that the reader thus has to go back to the photos to connect the words to the photos, like the points on a map that finally allow them to see the big image.

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the end of Bosnian war, The Real Edges prolongs and completes the first photographic work of Adrien Selbert, Srebrenica, from night to night. This series internationally awarded was published by Le Bec en l'air in 2015. 
This new project pushes the limits of his photographic vision even further towards more experimentation and poetry.

This series received the support of SCAM and CNAP and was exhibited by Agence VU ’at Les Rencontres d'Arles in 2019.

Adrien Selbert is a photographer and director, member of Agence VU ’. He works in France and in the Balkans, always at the crossroads of fiction and documentary, often questioning the "after" of war, disaster, tragedy, etc.

« Can a country lose consciousness? »

That was the first question he asked me. 

He told me : 

We have circled the country with words to give meaning to its war.

We said «fratricidal», we said «religious», we said «ethnic». 

Definitive words thrown like grenades to outline the contours of a conflict we understood nothing of. So as not to get tangled up in the names of its people, its religions and its language, it got all wrapped up in a simple and terrifying phrase: « At the gates of Europe ». 

We spoke then of a siege, a massacre and soon of a genocide.

He told me :

After four years of horror, the country was cut in half. And to expel the last remaining ardours, «The Agreements» were signed, as you would open up a gash in the country’s body.

So the bullets stopped whistling, the cameras stopped purring and everyone went home.

He told me the wound was too deep, and that the country may have bled out of consciousness.

He told me:

One day we would have to try to capture the outlines of this evanescent body through images. If the collapse in the decades to come is foregone, then we must look at those who have already fallen. Identify their outlines as one deciphers a bad omen. Prick up one’s ears and listen to this ceaseless floating, delve into this strange and tormented coma. If the country is passed out, there is a body to identify. And that may be the photographer’s mission.

He told me: 

Essentially, it’s about transcribing a sensation of this country, rather than describing it. Grasp the singular time in which it is trapped. It is not a state of play, it is a state of time. This book will be a long wandering, haunted by these questions: Is there something after the aftermath of a war ? Is it possible to never recover ? 

He told me :

It will be a simple book and the pictures won’t have any captions. For the chapters, we’ll use the colors of the flag : yellow (for the three communities) and blue (for the European dream). We’ll list the captions at the very end. Like a story to be deciphered.

We will come to it only if the images have achieved their purpose first. If they have accomplished their work of overflow. Only, then can we add words, to try and figure out the outlines. To map out… the real edges.

He told me :

This will be the title: «The Real edges», as in this beautiful Japanese poem - another land of ghosts – that speaks of love and a disembodied wound. That speaks, in the end, of Bosnia. 

Book features

24 x 26 cm / 9.44 x 10.2. inch 

160 pages

80 color photographs

Bilingual French / English text

Cardboard and canvas cover with hot stamping

Four-color printing on 140 gm uncoated matte paper

In bookstores January 7, 2021

ISBN 978-2-36744-142-9

Public sale price: € 38

Adrien Selbert is a photographer and director, member of Agence VU’.

He regularly works in France and in the Balkans, always at the crossroads of fiction and documentary, often questioning the "after" of war, disaster, tragedy, etc.
Graduated of Fine Arts School, he first turned to documentary cinema, working mainly in Bosnia and Kosovo. In 2009, he received the prize for best Grand reportage for the movoe Nino’s Place at the FIFDH festival in Geneva. He continue to document the former Yugoslavia as a photographer with a first series Srebrenica, from night to night in 2015 which will be the subject of several international exhibitions and publications. In 2018, he directed his first fiction movie, Prince Jordan, which will be selected in several European festivals. As a photographer, he is a regular contributor to Liberation for the society and culture pages.



Photographic exhibitions, grants and distinctions

The Real Edges

Honourable mention from Mentor Price 2016, awarded by SCAM and Freelens

Documentary Grant from National Center of Fine Art (CNAP) - 2019

Exhibition VU’ inédits - Les Rencontres d’Arles - 2019

Exhibition "25 years after the Bosnian war" - La Halle aux grains, St-Junien - 2020

Like a Muslim in NYC - 2017

Fondation Pierre Arnaud, Lens (Switzerland) : Collective exhibition «Visages d’Orient».

Srebrenica, from night to night 

Maison Blanche prize of Contemporary photography of Marseille / Exhibition at Mairie Maison Blanche

Grand Paris photo month / Collective exhibition at La Scam of the 4th Mentor Prize finalist

Grant prize of Lensculture Emerging talents Awards (USA) / Exhibition at Camerawork gallery of San Francisco 

Honorable Mention Moscow International Foto Awards

«Coup de coeur» Zoom 2015 Salon de la Photo de Paris

2nd Prize Fisheye of Les Rencontres d’Arles

Exhibition Festival de la photographie Méditerranéenne de Nice

Exhibition Festival L’Oeil Urbain - Corbeilles- Essonne

Exhibition Galerie Focale - Nyon (Suisse)


Prince Jordan, 29 min (short fiction movie - France) - 2019

Selectioned in International film festival of Winterthur, IFF La Roche sur Yon, BUFF Malmo, GoShort International film fest, Jaïpur International Film Festival 2020, LUCAS International Festival For Young Film Lovers of Francfort 2020. 

Production Haïku films with the support of Adami, Région Pays de la Loire, CNC


Srebrenica, from night to night, 10 min (photographic film- Bosnia) - 2016

International New form prize awarded by FreeLens with the Saguenay Zoom photo festival (Canada), Selection Paris Photographic night / Pierrevert Photographic night

Produit by L’Imprudence films


The Enclave, 52 min (documentary film - Kosovo) - 2014

Winner of Etoile de la Scam Prize 2015  Selection Lussas festival / Gindou Cinéma

Support: CNC / Région Pays de la Loire / Département Loire-Atlantique / Procirep - Angoa

Production Les Films d’Ici. Co-directed with Aude Léa Rapin 


Nino’s Place, 52 min (documentary film - Bosnia) - 2009

Best Grand Reportage at Geneva International Film Fest of Human Righs 

Support : CNC / Région Pays de la Loire / Département Loire-Atlantique

Production L’Atelier des Image. Co-directed with Aude Léa Rapin 


The publishing house

Le Bec en l'air is an independent publishing house founded in 2000, based in Marseille, and specializing in photography books. Our catalog of more than 200 titles includes monographs by Denis Brihat, the most recent books by Denis Dailleux, Algeria by Marc Riboud, as well as varied photographic works of Jane Evelyn Atwood, Bruno Boudjelal, Jean-Christian Bourcart, Stéphane Couturier, Payram or, among emerging talents, Arko Datto, Yohanne Lamoulère, Shinji Nagabe, Frédéric Stucin... Whether it is documentary, aesthetic or intimate concerns, one common point unites our publications: the dialogue between text and photography conceived as a tool for questioning the contemporary world. The texts, often bilingual English / French, are entrusted to novelists, essayists or art critics such as Christian Caujolle, François Cheval, Laurent Gaudé, Marie-Hélène Lafon, Yanick Lahens, Elias Sanbar, Yoko Tawada, Alice Zeniter ... The publishing house is associated with several events for which it produces catalogs: Circulation(s) festival in Paris, ImageSingulières in Sète, Maison Blanche prize in Marseille... In 2018, Le Bec en l'air published a book resulting from the public commission in photography from the Ministry of Culture on youth in France (Jeunes-Générations). In 2020, the house published the first volume of an annual publication listing photographic acquisitions in public collections (+ Photography), in collaboration with the Ministry of the Culture. Le Bec en l'air received the prestigious Nadar-Gens d'images Prize in 2015 for Algeria, closed like a book? by Bruno Boudjelal; the 2019 HIP Prize for Book of the Year for The Metamorphoses of Argentique by Denis Brihat and the HIP Prize for the First Book 2019 for Faux Bourgs by Yohanne Lamoulère. Le Bec en l'air is a member of France Photobook, which brings together some 20 independent French publishers of photography books. The house was founded and is managed by Fabienne Pavia, editor, and Dominique Herbert, artistic director.

Le Bec en l'air at Paris Photo fair

Waar dient de collecte voor

The total cost of producing the book amounts to € 16,700.

It covers photoengraving, graphics, copyright for the photographer, text correction, project monitoring and printing, including manufacturing monitoring at the printer.


Book printing € 9,200.00

Photogravure € 1,500.00

Graphics € 2,000.00


Copyrights € 2,000.00

Editorial follow-up and correction: € 2,000.00

Or € 16,700.00 excl.

5.5% VAT

Your contribution will be directly allocated to cover the printing of the book.

The rest of the budget is covered by Le Bec en air.


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