Photographing religious feeling: Stefan Czarnowski in Perros-Guirec on July 26, 1908

By Jean-François Bert


On July 26, 1908, the Polish sociologist Stefan Czarnowski, a close friend of Marcel Mauss and Henri Hubert, took part in a procession in the town of Perros-Guirec. He decided to document it by taking ten photographs. Four years before the two famous shots taken by Robert Hertz during the veneration of Saint Bessus in the Alps, Czarnowski’s pictures, preserved by Henri Hubert in his files, are one of the first witnesses to Durkheimians’ interest in this type of recording technique. This article seeks to show how these thinkers sought to “make visible” these manifestations of “popular religion” by placing particular emphasis on their material conditions.


  • Brittany
  • Photography
  • Procession
  • Religious feeling
  • Stefan Czarnowski
  • Marcel Mauss
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