Le Premier Homme

by Tomasz Fall

“Le premier homme” is a semi-fictional documentary that tells the story of a mysterious man called Mr. B. living as a hermit in nature. In fact, after spending an entire life working tirelessly trying to survive and a few years from retirement, Mr. B. abandoned everything – his job, his family, his friends, his house… – to lead a simple and authentic life. This man, crushed by an increasingly inhuman and deleterious system, found refuge far from his fellow men and developed extraordinary abilities there. He’s able to control the elements, communicate with animals and even levitate. By refusing to participate in the exploitation of nature and humans, by adopting a humble and responsible attitude, he’s rising against the excesses of neoliberalism. It’s a sort of David’s fight against Goliath – a highly topical issue – that he embodies in his own way and will lead without compromise when he will feel ready to get back to – what is paradoxically called – civilization.

The current pandemic is challenging our understanding of the human presence on Earth, our fascination with progress and our obsession with growth, and therefore the very essence of our existence. Many scientists, intellectuals and ordinary people believe that a return to normalcy is not possible, let alone desirable. The chain of catastrophes of all kinds (climatic, ecological, health, cultural, moral, philosophical, economic, financial…), including global warming, give us a scathing glimpse of the extent of the damage and the urgency in which the whole of humanity finds itself.  The series presents a reflection on our Western societies, on the weight of technology in our daily lives, on consumerism. This series invites us to rebel against the alienation of the individual and the disintegration of the collective; it encourages human beings to fight to recover their dignity and to rebuild a new society.

In addition to the photographic images that represent the core of the project, there are illustrations, a topographical map and various written documents in the book “Le premier homme” recently published by Skinnerboox and Ciao Press. It definitely gives a complete understanding of the series.