6th January, 2013    Photography Antoine Seiter   

Photographer Antoine Seiter on this HERO project:

“A few months ago, I was talking with my friend Yves Drillet, who’s also a photographer and editor, about the fact that we were influenced by American photography. Of course France has looked a lot to Germany, or further eastern with Boris Mikhailov’s photography. Even Japan. But we were figuring out that our publications were looking much like a fanzine that anyone in New York could have made.

Since the Marshall Plan after World War II, the US became our best economic and – indirectly – cultural model. It began when cinemas in Europe started broadcasting Hollywood movies. It’s continued as a design for life – when myself and my younger brother played as kids, we’d often call each other Luke, a reference to Luke Skywalker.

Even if today, the American Dream in terms of a model is over, it still sticks. I guess I’m shooting what seems to be an evolution of this American Dream and culture in France – French American football.

After taking at the first pictures, I figured that some guys really believed in this sport and it goes beyond being just another thing brought in from the US. They’ve really made it their own. I hope you can see it in their faces, they show real faith in what they’re doing.

I like the ambiguity there is between the French background, the US uniform, the college letters, the French team names, the words being shouted, sometimes in English, sometimes in French.

I was attracted to this football community because it’s not common. It gives people more space to distinguish how they can take over a culture. I mean they could have just played the game with their own shirt, uniform and design. Yet they’re using the same visual language and have cheerleaders too.”