In his practice, Michel Huneault combines documentary photography and contemporary visual art. Committed to a personal, humanist approach, he brings together still images and immersive elements in his work.
Before devoting himself to photography full-time in 2008, he worked in international development for more than a decade. That career took him to more than 20 countries, including Afghanistan, where he spent an entire year in Kandahar. Michel has a master’s degree in Latin American studies from the University of California Berkeley, where he was a Rotary Peace Fellow studying the role of collective memory after large-scale traumatic events. He studied under and assisted Magnum photographer Gilles Peress at Berkeley and in New York City.
Michel Huneault’s interest in development, trauma, migration and other geographically complex realities remains strong today. He develops his projects in chapters over a period of several years, presenting them through complementary platforms ranging from traditional media to contemporary art spaces.
His long-term project on the Lac-Mégantic train disaster won the 2015 Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize and was published the following year by Schilt Publishing in a book titled The Long Night of Mégantic. In 2016, the R. James Travers Foreign Corresponding Fellowship enabled him to deepen his research on migratory issues. The same year, his project Post Tohoku, on the effects of the tsunami in Japan, was nominated for a Prix Pictet 7 and received a Prix Antoine-Désilets. In 2018, ROXHAM - his project on asylum seekers crossing from the USA to Canada – was adapted to virtual reality by the National Film Board of Canada. ROXHAM VR was first exhibited at PHI Center in Montréal and at the Rencontres d’Arles in France. Since April 2020, he has been mandated by the McCord Museum to document Covid-19's impacts in Montréal.
Michel's work has been exhibited in various venues in Canada, France, UK, USA, Japan and the Netherlands. He lives in Montreal and has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.
2004 Grad. Certificate, Peace and Conflict Resolution, UC Berkeley, USA.
2004 Master's degree in Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley, USA.
2002 Grad.Diploma, Études francophones, Université Montpellier III, France.
2001 B.Sc., Communication Sciences, Université de Montréal, Canada.
2012/13 Apprentice w/ Geneviève Perron (DoP), Montréal, Canada.
2004 Apprentice w/ Gilles Peress, Magnum Photo, NYC, USA.
2004 Student/assist. w/ G.Peress, Human Rights and Photography, UC Berkeley, USA.
EXHIBITIONS – SOLO (selection)
2019-18 Roxham VR : Rencontres d'Arles (France), Miami Film Gate/Art Basel (USA), Rendez-vous Québec Cinéma (Can), FIPADOC (France), Open City Doc (UK), Camden International Film Festival (USA), Fantasia (Can), ATSA (Can), DOK.Fest (Germany).
2019 Roxham, Maison du développement durable/UNHCR, Montreal, Can.
2019 Occident Express, Maison de la Culture Ahuntsic, Montreal, Canada.
2018 Roxham, AKA/Dunlop, Saskatoon/Regina, Canada.
2018 Roxham, PHI Center, Montréal, Canada.
2017 Japan Notebooks 2012-2017, Tokyo Arts and Spaces , Tokyo, Japan.
2017 Intersection/Roxham, Circuit Gallery@PREFIX, Toronto, Canada.
2017 Post Tohoku, Rencontre photographique du Kamouraska, Canada.
2016 Post Mégantic, Center for Documentary Studies, Duke Uni, USA.
2016 Occident Express, Maison du développement durable, Montréal, Can.
2016 Views from Tohoku, Biennale Images Vevey, Vevey, Switzwerland.
2016 La longue nuit de Mégantic, Gallery Tanto Tempo, Kobe, Japan.
2016 Vues de Tohoku, Rencontres int. de la photo en Gaspésie, Canada.
2016 Post Tohoku, LABO@Campbell House Museum, Toronto, Canada.
2015 10 minutes at Tohoku, Galerie Pierre-François Ouellette, MTL, Canada.
2015 La longue nuit de Mégantic, Médiathèque Nelly-Arcan, Lac-Mégantic.
2015 La longue nuit de Mégantic, CONTACT Gallery, Toronto, Canada.
2014 La longue nuit de Mégantic, Maison de la culture Rosemont, Montréal.
2014 Water Memories, Beit Zatoun center, Contact Photo, Toronto, Canada.
2014 Contamination + Addiction, MDD, Montréal, Canada.
2013 La mémoire de l’eau, MDD, Montréal, Canada.
2012 Water Memories, Noorderlicht PF, Museum Van Haren, Netherlands.
2011 Histoires normales, Oriel Gallery, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Wales/UK.
2011 Histoires normales, Aberystwyth Art Center, Wales/UK.
EXHIBITIONS – COLLECTIVE (selection)
2019 Arts du Tout-Monde, Fine Arts Museum, Montréal, Canada.
2018 Le territoire I, La Castiglione gallery, Montréal, Canada.
2018 Uncertain Times, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, USA.
2017 Heading North : a Canadian Photography, Rencontres photo. de Guyane.
2017 Balade pour la paix, Fine Arts Museum, Montréal, Canada.
2017 HOSHANO : penser l'après Fukushima, Visual Voice, Montréal, Canada.
2017 Investigations, Centre VU, Québec, Canada.
2016/17 10 Minutes at Tohoku, IkonoTV, Berlin, Germany/Morocco.
2016 10 Minutes at Tohoku, Vidéoformes Festival, Clermont-Ferrand, France.
2015 Jury's projection, Prix Maison Blanche, Marseille, France.
2015 Identités, Rencontres intl. de la photographie en Gaspésie, Canada.
2014 Photoforum, Galerie Les territoires, Montreal, Canada.
2014 10 minutes at Tohoku , La bande vidéo, Québec, Canada
2014 Contamination+Addiction, in Chromatic 2014, Montreal, Canada.
2013 La longue nuit de Mégantic, Zoom Photofestival, Saguenay, Canada.
2013 Attesting Resistance, curated online exhibition, Canada.
2011 Awichas, Canadian Embassy in Bolivia, La Paz, Bolivia.
2010 HOST @ Crane Kalman - The Foto8 Awards Show, Brighton, UK.
2010 Foto8 Summershow, Host Gallery, London, UK.
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canada.
Archive of Documentary Arts, Duke University, USA.
Borden Ladner Gervais, Montreal, Canada.
2019 Shortlisted for Vevey Image Book Award, Switzerland.
2019 Final round of judging, best Interactive work, World Press Photo.
2018 Finalist for best VR work, Rencontres d’Arles, France.
2018 Nominated for the Tim Hetherington Trust's Visionary Award, USA.
2018 Nominated for a Magnum Foundation Grant, USA.
2017/15 Shortlisted for Vevey Award, Switzerland.
2016 Nominated for Prix Pictet 7 : Space, UK.
2016 Prix Antoine-Désilets, Canada.
2016 R. James Travers Foreign Corresponding Fellowship, Canada.
2014/16 New York Portfolio Review, selected, USA.
2015 Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize, USA.
2015 Review Santa Fe 100, CENTER, selected, USA.
2014 Portfolio Review Exhibition Award, CONTACT Festival, Canada.
2014 CDS/Honickman First Book Prize, shortlisted, USA.
2010 FOTO8 Award, UK.
2010 Photolife Emerging Photographer, Canada.
2010 Applied Arts Award, Photojournalism, Canada.
2010 Leica Fotografie International, Top 50 in 35 mm competition, Germany.
2009 LUX Award, Humanitarian Cause, Canada.
2009 Honorable mention, Prix de la Photographie de Paris/PX3, France.
ARTS GRANTS AND RESIDENCIES
2010-2020 Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Canada, Canada Arts Council (multiple grants).
2017 Art residency at Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo, Japan.
2014/16 Production residency, Centre Sagamie, Canada.
2013-15 SODEC, Canada.
2015 Art residency at Salzamt, Linz, Austria.
2014 Art residency with FONCA, Mexico City, Mexico.
2010 Art residency at Aberystwyth Art Center, Wales/UK.
ACADEMIC GRANTS AND FELLOWSHIPS
2002/04 World Peace Fellowship, Rotary International, USA.
2003 Center for Latin American Studies, UC Berkeley, USA.
2003 Berkeley Human Rights Center, UC Berkeley, USA.
The National Film Board of Canada, GEO, Prefix, Le Devoir, The Financial Times, The Guardian Magazine, New York Times, TIME, British Journal of Photography, The Globe and Mail, The Walrus, Photo District News, Wired, GUP, Médiapart, TV5, Fisheye, Vice, Japan Times, Le Monde, LFI, L'Actualité, La Presse, The Toronto Star, Macleans, SRC/CBC, Blackflash, TFO, Geist, Nouveau Projet, Québec Science, Internazionale, Polka, Leica Fotografie International, Maisonneuve, Ciel Variable.
Palestine (West Bank)
United Arab Emirates
Europe + Balkans.