Jean Gaumy

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Jean Gaumy (born 1948) is a French photographer and filmmaker who has been associated with Magnum Photos since 1977.


Gaumy was born in Pontaillac, Charente-Maritime, France. He attended school in Toulouse and Aurillac and went to university in Rouen. While a student in Rouen, he began working as a freelance photographer to help pay for his education. In 1973 he joined Gamma (agency).

Much of his work has focused on human confinement. In 1975 he began work on two such projects in France: L'hôpital and Les Incarcérés, both of which were published as books. Les Incarcérés was an unprecedented project on French prisons—he was the first to receive permission to photograph them.[1] In 1984 he made his first film, La Boucane. It was nominated for a César in 1986. That year he also began a series of trips aboard trawlers which led to his 2001 publication Pleine Mer. Beginning in 1987 he spent two years documenting Octeville-sur-Mer through the eyes of the so-called village idiot Jean-Jacques. Since the late 1980s he has also traveled often to Iran[2] and has also traveled in Central America and Africa[1]

He has made several other films. In recent years he has been documenting life on a nuclear submarine and has also worked on a series of mountain landscapes.

Personal life[edit]

In the early 1970s he married his wife Michelle and in 1975 their daughter Marie was born. Since 1995 he has lived in Fécamp, Haute Normandie.


  • Jean Gaumy, Actes Sud. Coll PhotoPoche. Text by Alain Bergala, 2010
  • D'après Nature, Xavier Barral, France. English, Italian and French texts, 2010
  • Pleine Mer, La Martinière, France, 2001, ISBN 978-2-7324-2732-4; Men at Sea, Harry N. Abrams, USA, 2002, ISBN 978-0-8109-1198-7; Mare Aperto, Contrasto, Italy, 2002; Auf hoher See', Knesebeck, Germany, 2002
  • Le Livre des Tempêtes à bord de l’Abeille Flandre, Seuil, France, 2001, ISBN 978-2-02-042622-0
  • Le Pont de Normandie, Le Cherche-Midi, France, 1995, ISBN 978-2-86274-334-9
  • Les Incarcérés, L’Etoile/Cahiers du Cinéma, France, 1983, ISBN 978-2-86642-009-3
  • L’Hôpital, Contrejour, France, 1976, ISBN 978-2-85949-003-4


  • Sous-Marin (video, color, 5x25'), 2006
  • Marcel, Prêtre (16mm, color, 42'), 1994
  • Jean-Jacques (16mm, color, 52'), 1987
  • La Boucane (16mm, color, 35'), 1984

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • Named Peintre de la Marine, 2008
  • Prix Nadar, France, 2001 et 2010[3]
  • Prix du film document de Belfort (for "Jean-Jacques") France, 1987
  • Nomination for a César Award (for La Boucane) (short-documentary category) France, 1986
  • Prix du premier film au Festival du Film Ethnologique, Paris, France, 1984


External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ [3]
  4. ^ [4]