Re:viewing Egypt


150 pages 130 photographs.

Published in USA,UK,Égypt. (2010)

Forwords:   Gamal Ghitani

It is this hidden relationship that Xavier Roy has observed with his piercing eye, a relationship that is so hard to observe other than through the agency of those endowed with special insight, of whom, there can be no doubt, he is one.”

Gamal Ghitani

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Saint Tropez is one of those villages that appears to vanish under the intense glitter of summer, but which instantly comes alive again at the end of the season when nature and the steady pace of daily life reassert themselves.

“Far from the madness of its frantic « celebrity » summers invaded with hoards of tourist, star-studded parties and billionaires’ yachts, there exists another Saint Tropez, a less well-known Saint Tropez that is instantly recognizable to those who have the good fortune to live there.

Because, make no mistake, Saint Tropez is truly a village, with its bell tower softly chiming the hours, its old people warming themselves in the sun on the ” Liars Bench ” and children playing noisily in the school yard, not to mention the colourful market that literally overflows with flowers and vegetables, where the famous village peacocks can be seen roaming freely in all their glory!

It is a marvelous place, where each bend in the road reserves a pleasant surprise, where the pretty, brightly-painted houses around the port are at last visible again after the summer visitors have departed and the beaches revert to their wild state and are once more populated by seaweed and drift-wood.

It is a village where the inhabitants have remained genuine and maintain a deep respect for their roots and traditions, and where kindness and a smile are the general rule. Indeed, it is thanks to its inhabitants that the village of Saint Tropez has managed to preserve its irresistible charm and enduring mystery.

This is the Saint Tropez that I have had the good fortune to get to know and have come to love and that I would like to share with you now”

Xavier Roy

Publisher: Images en Manoeuvres. (May2009)

Forwords: Dany Lartigue



“The tenderness of a traveler”

“In this various and paradoxical country, how many Brazils do you need to make one Brazil?” asks the famous brazilian singer Lenine; Country at the same time extremely violent and full of gentleness, Xavier Roy has chosen his own Brasil. It is not the one of crime, injustice and misery. It may be sometimes needy or even barren, but it is never a desperate Brazil! Under the gaze of the photographer appears a Brazil of infinite tenderness, and this tenderness you may read on the faces you see, is primarily the eye of Xavier Roy. He loves the ones he sees and in return they give him the best of themselves. Looking through “Viva o’ Brazil” we know from which family belongs Xavier Roy: Cartier Bresson, Boubat, Plossu… “the street photographers”, the ones who go walking through all the cities of the world so that they can meet people… Like Cartier Bresson, Xavier Roy is careful with the setting and he captures the decisive moment; They divide the image as the panels of an altar piece or the rungs of a ladder, the lines organize the composition, they order the chaos. As the space is  cut up this way, everything seems in place.
In Brazil, however, the lines look softer: they are curved, they undulate; They are the lines of the sidewalk of Rio de Janeiro, the ones that trace the meander of a river, the contour of an avenue or the crest of a dune. They are the round back of the sugar loaf, that a fisherman reproduces just as he throws his net. But to capture the decisive moment, in Brazil, it is not to set the evanescence of a gesture or the fleetingness of a reflection; it is not only capturing funny or unusual moments, which for instance show two cyclists ready to fly with their swarm of balloons, or this other character that scares a flock of birds on the wall. In Brazil, capturing the moment is seizing the religious intrusion in everyday life: an angel with black curls in the street, a young mother who turns her baby in her arms and gives the photographer the peaceful and enlightened face of a Madonna. Here Christ is everywhere: though he is absent of the cross under which a boy makes a somersault, he comes back in the mist- the image that gives the Redeemeer, photographed a thousand times, all the beauty and strangeness of an appearance- or, in the shadow of a church, behind a glass booth, fragile presence who watches quietly the street you can see through the open door.
It is also the “saudade” that you can see in the eye of Xavier Roy, this peculiar Brazilian feeling. You can read it on the dreaming faces leaning on their arm, but it is mostly in the style of the photographer, who sees Brazil – and shows it – as we did not see it anymore. In the midst of brutal images that the media swamps us with, Xavier Roy talks about a country almost forgotten full of humanity and gentleness. We hope that he will go on a long time, watching these men and women with the tenderness of the traveler.

Sébastien Roy

Publisher : “Impressa Oficial do Estado de Sao Paulo/Instituto Totem Cultural) 2009

86 black and white photographs

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Terre D’Egypt


French Publisher : Nouvel Angle (2010)

150 pages 130 photographs.

Published in France.

Forwords:   Gamal Ghitani

It is this hidden relationship that Xavier Roy has observed with his piercing eye, a relationship that is so hard to observe other than through the agency of those endowed with special insight, of whom, there can be no doubt, he is one.”

Gamal Ghitani

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All our children

I did not photograph children by choice. They caught the attention of my camera themselves….

Invariably through my travels, my lens focuses on children; serious or smiling they are always spontaneous unpredictable, moving.

And that is what  always touches and surprises me about all the children from around the globe is the incredible ease they have to laugh and amuse themselves. They enjoy every action and moment to its fullest… a notion that only their natural lack of concern can bring

Xavier Roy

Publisher : earBooks / edel Classic
Publication : 2006

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« Cuban Soul »

Cuba is a country rich in culture and beauty that often caught the eye of the photographers and the attention of the camera lens.

A very well photographed country, the beauty and mystery of Cuba can be seen in many fantastic images. Although these images all encompass the same vast country,  they are very diverse:  some are “clichés” meanwhile others like those of Walker Evans and his time are real masterpieces that remain totally faithful to Cuba !

When a photographer feels that he ” should return somewhere”, it means that he knows that in order to truly capture the image he must fully immerse himself in the soul of the country over and over again, as if drawn by magic. It is a need stronger than the photographer himself, and that is why Xavier Roy returned to Cuba more than a dozen times !

And finally the pictures appear on the contact sheets, many faces, as Xavier loves people. He enjoys smiling and talking to them… and eventually he takes their portrait. And so he did for this old man with his mustache and sweet smile or this grandfather and his child, bare-chested under his straw hat….The Cuban sun is so strong ! Not to forget this man behind his window in company of his dog, snout through the bars, and this young woman with curlers and a conniving smile. And many more !

In fact all this portraits takes us deep into the real Cuba : we can feel the climate, see the architecture, the time passing by and a lot more. When we travel, we not only cross borders and change country, but the tastes, the smells and all the rest changes as well …

Bernard Plossu

Publisher : Flammarion
Publication : 2/11/2004

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Elsewhere / Instants d’ailleurs

« For many years now, Xavier Roy has been taking pictures in a far from amateur way. He loves traveling and staying for long periods in distant countries, and not just for the sand and sea. You are far more likely to meet him at day break in the swarming streets of downtown Havana, Delhi, Cairo or Rio, with a camera on his shoulder and a watchful eye open for those unique freeze-frames of life. An antidote perhaps to the ever accelerating media of his daily responsibilities.

Everyone who has had the privilege of seeing his photographs has been looking forward to his collected works. Exclusively taken in black and white, they have now been brought together as a book and exhibited at the Musée de la Castre in Cannes »

Catherine Tasca
French Minister for Culture and Communication

January 2002

Publisher : Musée de la Castre

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