Skip to main content


Established in 2023, the Vernacular Social Club is an association dedicated to promoting and disseminating vernacular documents.

Through a variety of events, publications, podcasts, and the triannual release and distribution of the journal REVU, which is focused on vernacular photography and documents, the association aims to become the central gathering point for those passionate about vernacular documents.



From the summit of the vernacular, we send out a rallying call to unite. All of us, champions of domestic, utilitarian, and local photographs that, over time, shed light on our society of the 20th and 21st centuries. Together, bringing the Vernacular Social Club to life means giving visibility to these undocumented archives, “de-conforming” the field to give cachet to the realm of the anonymous, to those “out of order” images.

  1. We want to create an international club, inclusive both geographically and socially, as a place to share thoughts and ideas, open to everyone.
  2. We want to propagate the vernacular document as expressions of social, societal, political, and artistic themes.
  3. Our objective is to make the club a visually-rich sanctum by pooling the technical and artistic expertise of its members, as well as their archival, documentary, and financial resources.
  4. Members can contribute directly to the club’s artistic and editorial production. They can also become benefactors and patrons.
  5. Our underlying line of action is to promote the image in all its forms, without excluding texts and exegeses dealing with all types of subjects.
  6. The club’s mission is to realize editorial projects, organize conferences, exhibitions, etc., and support its members’ initiatives and projects.
  7. To promote the vernacular document, several mediums have been put in place: the magazine “REVU” with three annual issues and the creation and distribution of audio and video content.
  8. The Vernacular Social Club is a cultural and non-profit association. An annual membership fee is required for those wishing to be members. Special financial or administrative support is provided to members who are economically disadvantaged or in need of specific aid.


The Vernacular Social Club is a non-profit association registered in France and governed under French law “loi 1901.” Its aim is to promote vernacular documents in all their forms to as many people as possible, with a societal and political approach. Declaration of the CREATION of association no. W751271622, September 29, 2023.

Vernacular Social Club, 7 rue Michel Chasles, 75012 Paris, France

Founding members


Jean-Marie Donat / Jean-Marie is an artist iconographer, and a publisher. For over 30 years now, he has been gathering a vast photographic collection around one core idea, which is to offer a singular reading of the XXth century. Its collection covers nearly a century of photography history (1880-1980) and brings together more than 40,000 photographs, ektachromes and negatives from around the world. A significant part of the collection is made up of vernacular images, chosen for the cultural and social testimony they convey. Gathered in series, the photographs from his collection have made their way into books in the form of rare, limited editions. They have been presented in several exhibitions, including at the Lianzhou Museum of Photography (China, 2019), Image Vevey (Switzerland, 2020), Centquatre-Paris (France, 2021), Rencontres d’Arles (France, 2015 and 2023). / Website / Publications 


Lukas Birk / Lukas is an Austrian photographer, researcher, and publisher. He works primarily in conflict-affected areas, such as Afghanistan and Myanmar, and establishes local infrastructure to promote the archiving and public display of visual history / Website / Publications


Thomas Sauvin / Since 2009, the French collector and artist has salvaged discarded negatives from a recycling plant on the edge of Beijing, negatives that were destined to destruction. His Beijing Silvermine archive now encompasses over a million anonymous photographs, allowing the reconstruction of a large part of the history of popular analogue photography in China. Over the last ten years, Thomas has published numerous photo books which entered the collections of TATE, the V&A, the Bibliotheque Nationale de France and the Pompidou Museum. / Website


Christophe Thiebaut / Passionate about images since his adolescence, Christophe Thiebaut has been building a collection of photographs focused on architectural photography within his company since the 1990s, as well as through sponsorship. In parallel, he, along with collector friends, created “La Chambre” in Strasbourg in 2011, an exhibition and image training space. This venue has been showcasing contemporary European and international photography to the public for more than 10 years, with the aim of demonstrating all the facets and capabilities of the medium. On a personal level and more recently, he has been collecting anonymous photographs for several years, dating back to the birth of photography until the 1930s. Several of his images have been featured in exhibitions at the Musée d’Orsay and the Maison Rouge.

Board members

o   Lucy Sante, author, critic, professor

o   Nora Jaccaud, documentary film director

o   Anne Delrez, photographer, editor