Patrick Zachmann



Born 1955 in Choisy-le-Roi, France, and currently living in Paris, Patrick Zachmann began as a freelance photographer in 1976 and became a member of Magnum Photos in 1990. Zachmann has dedicated himself to long-term reportages that bring to light the complex identities and cultures of social groups and communities in various countries.
His 1982 work on the Naples police and mafia, the Camorra, led to a collection of cinematographic photographs that also inspired the publication of a fictional book. From 1982 to 1984, concurrently with a project on highway landscapes supported by the French Ministry of Culture, Zachmann explored the lives of immigrant teenagers in the north of Marseille.
After working intensely on a personal project about Jewish identity, Patrick Zachmann published his second book, Enquête d’identité, in 1987. In 1989, his feature of the events on Tiananmen Square in Beijing was widely published in the international press. In the same year he was awarded the prestigious Prix Niépce for his œuvre.
Over a period of six years, Zachmann pursued an in-depth work on the Chinese diaspora in different parts of the world. This gave rise to the publication of W. ou l’œil d’un long nez in 1995, which was hailed by critics. The book was accompanied by an exhibition that traveled to ten countries in Asia and Europe.
Between 1996 and 1998, Patrick Zachmann directed the short film La Mémoire de mon père, followed by his first feature-length film, Allers-retour: Journal d’un photographe, which is about the disappearance of traces of memory, specifically in Chile.
In 2006, Zachmann started working on a new project in China titled Confusions chinoises, for which he was awarded the l’Aide à la Création de la Délégation aux Arts Plastiques (DAP). He was also appointed a lecturer by the Paris Art School and the Academy of Graphic Design and Photography in Rome.
Between 2006 and 2008, Zachmann worked on a feature film titled Bar Centre des Autocars, an investigation into the lives of ten young people he had met and photographed in Marseille’s poorest suburbs twenty years earlier. In May 2009, Zachmann also presented a retrospective on his works concerned with immigration and suburbs at the Paris Center for Immigration History. The retrospective comprised works spanning 25 years.
To mark the 20th anniversary of the events on Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989, Zachmann produced the documentary film Generation Tiananmen in 2009. The movie was featured by media outlets including Le Monde and Der Spiegel.
Patrick Zachmann covered illegal immigration in Europe, following immigrants on their journeys through Malta, France and Greece. The project yielded a multimedia documentary, A Somali in Paris, which was broadcast in 2010 by France 5, a national French television channel, as part of their ambitious 6-part exposé, Portraits of a New World.  .
Zachmann was selected to be part of a major cultural commission by Marseille-Provence 2013, for which he presented his series Mare Mater as both a film and a book at Mucem in Marseille.
In April 2016, Xavier Barral published So Long, China, bringing together nearly 350 black and white and color photographs. The book, which focuses on questions of identity, is the result of a long-term study carried out during his many trips since 1982 to a country in transition. It was awarded the Nadar Prize in 2016.
Following the 2019 fire at Notre-Dame in Paris, Zachmann was awarded exclusive access to document the long-term reconstruction of the cathedral. His photos are exhibited on the palisades in rue du Cloître-Notre-Dame and on the square as the work progresses.
In 2021 Zachmann’s decades-long investigation of Jewish identity was presented as Voyages de Mémoire at the Museum of the Art and History of Judaism in Paris. The exhibition, consisting of nearly 300 works, was the first major solo exhibition at the mahJ of a living photographer. The exhibition traveled to the Kunstfoyer in Munich in 2023.

AWARDS | Recognitions

2016  Prix Nadar, So Long, China (Éditions Xavier Barral, Paris)
2013  Bourse d’aide à la Production et de la création du Ministère de la Culture
2009  Beaux Livres de l’Année for Ma proche banlieue (Xavier Barral), Paris
2007  Aide à la Création de la Délégation aux Arts Plastiques (DAP) Ministry of Culture, Paris
1992  Art Directors Club Merit Award, New York
1989  Prix Niépce, Paris
1986  Prix Villa Médicis Hors Les Murs, Paris

2015  Lauréat, Fondation Gan pour le Cinéma, Mister Wu (Prix Spécial)
2002  Allers-retour, journal d’un photographe: Grand Prix, Festival de Creación Audiovisual, Pamplona, Spain; Selected and presented at États Généraux du Film Documentaire, Lussas, France
2000  La mémoire de mon père: First Prize, Les Écrans Documentaires festival, France
2000  Shown by Cinéma des Cinéastes by Documentaire sur Grand Écran in the Vies privées program, selected by Festival Côté Court, Pantin, France
1999  In the official selection of the Festival du Réel au Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris


2023  Voyages de mémoire, Kunstfoyer, Munich
2023  Documenting Israel: Visions of 75 Years, Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem, Israel
  Voyages de mémoire, Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme (mahJ), Paris
2020  Les bâtisseurs d’aujourd’hui, Parvis de la Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
2019  Les premiers mois de la renaissance de Notre-Dame de Paris, Parvis de la Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
2016  So long, China – 1982-2015, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris
2015  Mare Mater, musée Nicéphore-Niépce, Chalon-sur-Saône, France
2014  Mare Mater, Mois de la Photo, Galerie Magnum, Paris
2013  Mare Mater, Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations (Mucem), Marseille
2012  Ma proche banlieue, Festival International de Photographie de Tekesi, China
2012  Festival de Photographie du Xishuanbana, China
2010  Un jour, la nuit, Galerie Negpos, Nîmes, France
2010  Paysages autoroutiers, Galerie Magnum, Paris
2009  Ma proche banlieue, Cité Nationale d’Histoire de l’Immigration (CNHI), Paris
2009  Un jour, la nuit, Galerie Les Voutes, Paris
2008  Confusions chinoises. Faux-semblants, Festival de Photographies en Plein Air, La Gacilly, France
2008  L’œil d’un long-nez, Hartlepool Art Gallery, Newcastle, UK
2007  L’image d’après, Le cinéma dans l’imaginaire de la photographie, Cinémathèque Française, Paris
2005-2006 Euro Visions, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Ludwig Museum, Budapest
2004  Musulmanes, Musulmans, Parc de La Villette, Paris
2001-2004  Chili. Une mémoire en route, Museum of Fine Arts, Santiago de Chile; Centre d’Histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation, Lyon; International Photography Festival, Pingyao, China; FotoGrafia International Photography Festival, Rome; Galerie des l’Institut Français, Barcelona
1998  Enquête d’identité, Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme (mahJ), Paris
1997 Maliens, ici et là-bas, Parc de la Villette, Paris
1995-2000  L’oeil d’un long-nez, shown in ten Asian countries; Visa pour l’Image, Perpignan, France; Photographer’s Gallery, London; Sala Municipal, Valladolid, Spain
1987  Enquête d’identité, Galerie Magnum, Paris
1985  Enquête d’identité, Galerie Photo FNAC Forum, Paris

selected FILMS

2013  Mare Mater (52 min.)
2008  Bar Centre des Autocars (Les Films d’Ici, 56 min.)
Selected by the Festival Méditéranéen, Marseille and Turin (2008); presented during the exhibition Ma proche banlieue, Cité Nationale d’Histoire de l’Immigration, Paris
2001  Allers-retour, journal d’un photographe (INA, 68 min.)
Selected and presented by États Généraux du Film Documentaire, Lussas (2002); Les Rencontres de la Photographie, Arles; Festival International du Film Francophone de Namur, Belgium; Festival de Creación Audiovisual, Pamplona (Grand Prix) (2002); International Documentary Film Festival, Santiago de Chile; Human Rights Festival, Buenos Aires; Centre d’Histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation, Lyon (2002); Menschenrechte International Film Festival, Nuremberg (2003); International Exile Film Festival, Sweden; Festival de Documentaires by Arte in l’Espace Confluences and la Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris and at la Maison de l’Amérique Latine; Cinéma la Palette, Tournus; François Mitterand Cultural Space; Centre Georges Pompidou (on the occasion of the annual meeting of international authors in exile); Présence du Documentaire Contemporain program, Jeu de Paume (2004); l’Institut Français, Barcelona (2005)
1998  La mémoire de mon père (Gédéon Programme, 30 min.)
Presented at La Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme, Paris (2000); Museum of Fine Arts, Santiago de Chile; the International Photography Festival, Pingyao; Forum des Images, Paris (2002); University of Vichy (Memoire et images; 2003). Presented at Cinéma La Palette, Tournus, during the Month of Documentary Film and at the Les Écrans Documentaire Festival (on demand of Joëlle Van Effenterre) as well as at Cinéma des Cinéastes par Doc sur Grand Ecran Affaires de familles programme (2003).
1994  Short film featuring an emigrant from Mali, presented in La Villette accompanying the exhibition Maliens, ici et là-bas
Short film featuring Belleville for the series The Magnum Eye (NHK, 10 min.) Broadcast on Japanese Television


2021  Notre-Dame. Histoire d’une renaissance (Bayard Culture, Paris)
2016  So Long, China (Éditions Xavier Barral, Paris)
2013  Mare Mater (Actes Sud, France)
2009  Ma proche banlieue (Éditions Xavier Barral, Paris)
2009  Photo Poche Patrick Zachmann (Robert Delpire, France)
2008  Good Nights (Biro, France)
2002  Chili, les routes de la mémoire (Marval, France)
1997  Maliens, ici et là-bas (Plume, France)
1994  20 ans de rêves (Syria Editions, Paris)
1995  W. ou l’oeil d’un long-nez (Marval, France)
1987  Enquête d’identité (Contrejour, France)
1983  Madonna ! (Cahiers du Cinéma, France)