Autofiction is a term used in literary criticism to describe a blend between two distinct genres: autobiography and fiction. These stories blur the boundaries between author and narrator. In The Timeless Story of Moormerland, artist duo Elsa Parra (b. 1990) and Johanna Benaïnous (b. 1991) do just that, suggesting the imaginary existence of a neighbourhood and its inhabitants. Over a period of four weeks in May 2021, the pair were based temporarily in northern Germany, spending time across several villages in and around Moormerland, Lower Saxony. They stage the “daily lives” of various characters – young adolescents, fathers and housewives amongst them – with images organised as though part of a traditional family album. Elsewhere, Le Silence du Sucrier takes a more personal approach; it turns to the memories of loved ones, reconstructing family stories through the lens.
All images courtesy Elsa & Johanna, from The Timeless Story of Moormerland (2021), Quiétude (2018), L’envolée (2019) and Le Silence du Sucrier (2016).