Photographs by students, teachers and friends of the CFO
gathered by Antonin Potoski



To celebrate the reopening of the Omani French Centre after renovation works, and as part of its inauguration by H.E. Yahya Bin Saud Al Sulaimi, Omani minister of Education, and by H.E. Malika Berak, French ambassador in Oman, this exhibition of 33 colour photographs presents the images selected by curator Antonin Potoski among some 2000 digital files handed to him by students, teachers and friends of the CFO  – a centre devoted to teaching and promoting the French language.
For 13 years, Antonin Potoski, a travelling writer, photography curator and graduate of the French École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie, has been conducting photographic events based on the selection of a large number of images wherever his travels take him – Mali, USA, France, Switzerland, Japan… He has published and curated photographic works in more than 20 countries, with professional photographers, but also, as in Muscat, with students – and even with villagers from traditional tribes in the Sahel.
This exhibition, the result of two picture harvests from students in June 2010, one week before cyclone Phet struck, and in October 2010, after the start of the school year – including images from the Omani photographer and teacher Saif Nasir Al Rawahi – gives out a fresh, lively, tender, one might even say « spring-like » impression of the Sultanate of Oman, with swims, games, emotions from the heights of the mountains, instants from the city… Often amusing, they always reveal the quality of the lights in the Sultanate.
The title « Real Life » stems from a line by the dazzling French poet Arthur Rimbaud, who wrote in 1873 in A Season in Hell: « Real life is absent. » On the initiative of its director Aurélie Rambaud, the Omani French Centre and the 22 photographers of this exhibition pave the way for an imagery where « life is present » – an imagery that Antonin Potoski promises to continue developing for the Sultanate, working on wider selections: a lifelike photography, inhabited by the Omanis, by the people who live here. A straightforward photography that shows life as it is and the happiness to live in the magical light of the Sultanate.



In the presence of:
H.E. Yahya Bin Saud Al Sulaimi, Omani minister of Education
H.E. Malika Berak, French ambassador in Oman