Maxim Matthys

Born in 1995 in Brussels. Lives and works in Paris and Rennes.
Graduated from the EMI-CFD School of Journalism in Paris.


"2091 - The Ministry of Privacy" reveals facial recognition mechanisms used by the Chinese government to monitor and oppress ethnic minorities, including Uighur and Kazakh, in the Xinjiang region. I produced this series in collaboration with William Attache, an artificial intelligence engineer, to create facial recognition software similar to those used by the Chinese government. Then I went to Kashgar, one of the last strongholds of Uighur and Kazakh culture, and one of the most closely guarded towns in the territory, to photograph the daily life of these populations.

Despite government censorship, I was able to send my photographs to facial recognition programs previously developed on my computer. The software then proceeded to recognize the inhabitants appearing in the photos, and exported their biometric information on their face. Depending on the technology, some are displayed as red dots (called Landmarks) others using the Delaunay diagram - an alternative used to map such information. My work thus underlines the intrusive nature of these technologies, until then invisible, and the threat they represent for the inhabitants.