A red armband facing caps and hoods. In the background, the lit windows of a tower block. These details activate collective memories built up by media images: they make you think of suburbs, poor districts, police, tensions  etc.
La République (The Republic) is part of a set of photographs, taken between 2005 and 2008 and shown under the generic title of Périphérique (Ring Road). Both terms underline the political dimension of the work of Mohamed Bourouissa. It seems to find its origin in the desire to produce stereotypes that are decentred, or rather centred on the periphery. The geographical term is also implicitly a social one.
These photographs can evoke numerous things: they combine a recent memory, that of the current news, with an old memory, more particularly related to the history of art. La République was produced through a composition process close to painting. The various groups of characters are being placed within the framework to create powerful geometrical lines. The theatrical gesture, the narrative aspect of the characters, as well as the chiaroscuro environment, remind us of paintings by Caravaggio . On the top right section of the picture, a French flag draws the attention. It irresistibly evokes the painting of Eugene Delacroix Le 28 juillet : La Liberté guidant le peuple (1831), reproduced in every French pupil’ history book. Like a visual subtext, Mohamed Bourouissa’s composition functions as a reference to this republican emblem, symbolizing the fight of the people for freedom and equality. In his visual organization, the flag, whether it be held or folded up, seems to symbolize the contemporary unbalance of revolutionary ideals and collective founding values.
Translated by Valérie Vivancos
 In the autumn of 2005, riots in the suburbs, particularly in the Paris region, left their mark on the French society. At that time, the events were strongly conveyed by the media worldwide.
 Reminiscent of the The Calling of Saint Matthew (1599-1600) or The Raising of Lazarus (1608-1609).