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IDENTITY PHOTOGRAPHS

In 1960, a young French photographer, Marc Garanger, was completing his military service in French-occupied Algeria. In these late days of colonial rule, the army had decided that the native Algerians should carry identity cards. In the High Plateaus region, the task of taking the photographs for these cards fell to Garanger.

THEY’VE TOLD THE WOMEN, almost shouting in the language of Algeria’s High Plateaus—Everyone outside, young and old, and come to the village square. The French officer is waiting.

The women who have ventured outside their homes—they’ve given the tribe many sons; they’re barely women now—have told their daughters and their friends how handsome the officer is on his horse. They’ve done this in the privacy of their rooms, in hushed voices, for it is forbidden speech to praise the enemy who has suddenly appeared by a stone wall, the foreigner in uniform, younger than

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