Born in 1948, Stéphane Duroy started his career as a press photographer working with different press agencies, including the VU’ agency. Duroy gradually turned to more personal photographic projects and since the late seventies, he has been travelled extensively across Europe and the United States. His photographic work examines intimate questions of personal and collective identities, memories and histories of people and places affected by the traumas of war, totalitarian regimes and migration.
The fall of the Berlin wall marked the starting point for Duroy’s photographic project L’Europe du silence (The Silent Europe). Intrigued by the idea of two diametrically opposing political ideologies co-existing in the same country, Duroy travelled to East Germany through a landscape that remained largely unchanged since 1933. He continued in Poland, a living testimony to the horrors of the Second World War and finally, in Verdun, the stage for one the longest battles of the First World War, thus closing the loop on a traumatic history that marked these European nations.
At the same time, Duroy worked on a parallel project, Distress, which records the uneasy reality of those living on the margins in a Thatcherite Britain – miners, kids, teenagers, unemployed and those left out. In the United States, Duroy travelled extensively from Coney Island to Montana tracing the illustrious idea of the American Dream which had lured millions fleeing from the tragedies in Europe to the American shores. This resulted in Unknown, a photobook in which he explores fading notions of identity and memory for those in exile.