Genuine work in progress, the project Datazone was started in 2005 and focuses on news that are recurring or nearly invisible in media coverage. Over the years, Philippe Chancel has drawn a constellation of emblematic territories scattered on the map of the world. Based on the novel Interzone by William Burroughs, and on a fragmentary writing principle conceived as a means to break the mental borders of the labyrinthine path of unexplored areas, Datazone highlights the current excesses of political and social fields - of which the tension areas, often intractable, are symptomatic.
Philippe Chancel considers Datazone as a global corpus. Made through many territories that are emblematic of the challenges of our societies, Datazone explores the complexity of these landscapes and gives them a photographic consistency that does not exclude any subject: architecture, landscape, people, street scenes, public and private spaces. These intertwined categories feed a synthetic and distanced vision of truly dramatic situations.
Nine sites have been documented so far, from Port-au-Prince to Kabul through Fukushima, Barnaul, Astana, South Africa, the Niger Delta, and, several times, North Korea. Philippe Chancel travelled this year to Dharavi, India, and intends to continue and achieve the project within the next two years, by visiting the northern districts of Marseille, Nuuk in Greenland, the city of Flint in the United States as well as the Spanish enclave of Melilla in Morocco. Each territory is the subject of a special presentation that takes into account the specificities of each place and the problems encountered.