NEFZGER, Jürgen; THOREAU, Henry David
Bure (ou la vie dans les bois)
In Bure, a small French commune in the Meuse department in the Grand Est region, French and German opponents of nuclear power have been campaigning for decades against the construction of a permanent disposal site for highly radioactive nuclear waste. The opposition movement took shape in the Lejuc forest, where Jürgen Nefzger photographed the everyday life of a group of protesters who had made the woods their temporary home until the camp was cleared in February 2018. The images clearly show the asymmetry between a heavily armed state and the resistance of a few individuals, who at first glance seem to have no chance. As a gesture, however, the protest has an inherent latency, representing an irrepressible “no”. Bure—a long-term photographic study of modern-day civil resistance—is influenced by Henry David Thoreau’s text On the Duty of Civil Disobedience. This groundbreaking essay from 1849 is published here as an accompaniment to Nefzger’s photographs.