Bruno Serralongue: Water Protectors

From April to November 2016, the Sioux Indians on the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota, joined by other nations and activists, set up a camp on the banks of the Missouri River near Lake Oahe to oppose the plan to bury the Access Pipeline under the Dakota River. The people living on the reservation, which is downstream from the lake, fear that leaks might pollute the river. Up to 10,000 people lived in the camp, called Oceti Sakowin, during a standoff with the army and the police in late November 2016. Their protest led President Obama to suspend the project. Then, his successor, Trump, ordered the army to resume building the pipeline. Despite the dismantling of Oceti Sakowin, the Indians’ opposition to the destruction of their “sacred land” did not falter. It took other forms on other fronts. The Water Protectors series (2017 to present) explores this continuously renewed struggle.

About the Author

Born in 1968 in Châtellerault, Bruno Serralongue lives between Paris and Geneva, where he has taught at the Haute Ecole d’Art et de Design since 2004.
Since the mid-90s, when he finished his studies in Art History at the Ecole Nationale de la Photographie in Arles and the Villa Arson in Nice, Serralongue has constructed a body of photographic work that continually up-ends how contemporary media images are produced. Whether confronting the reality of an event with how it is treated in the media, returning to a place after its fifteen minutes of fame have passed or following a story with a different point of view than the usual media focus, Serralongue works within the framework of a certain kind of conceptual photography that seeks to reveal the complexity of reality, rather than trying to exhaust all formal possibilities.

A portrait of Bruno Serralongue

Since 1996, his photography has been regularly exhibited in France and abroad. A series of retrospectives took place at Wiels in Brussels, the Jeu de Paume in Paris, and the Virreina Centre de la Imatge in Barcelona. In 2019 the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou dedicated an exhibition to his series of photographs of migrants in Calais, taken between 2006 and 2020.
His photographs figure in numerous private and public collections such as the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Tate Modern in London, the Fotomuseum de Winterthur, the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris and the Musée National de l’Histoire de l’Immigration, Paris. (via

Bruno Serralongue : Water Protectors
4 July – 25 September 2022
Le Jardin d’été – Arles – Les rencontres de la Photographie

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