Born in 1982 Samuel Gratacap graduated from the Marseille School of Fine Arts in 2010. Questioning the reality lying behind immigration figures he stepped into the administrative detention centre in Marseille in 2007. There he discovered a transitory space -the ‘15-15’ as a man he met in an interview room called it : « 15-day detention and 15-minute judgment ». Samuel Gratacap took pictures of men in search of a future, in search of what they call « luck ». He also collected testimonies, which took him to the Italian island of Lampedusa. As a sort a backward journey. There again the photographer strove to reveal the ‘shameful’ side of the island. Shaken by the castaways’ fate, some of the inhabitants gathered objects found washed up ashore. From documents which he found the photographer built a subjective story which woud lead him further and further, to the port city of Zarzis in South Tunisia then to the Choucha camp a few kilometers from the Libyan border. In the summer of 2013 when international organizations officially closed the camp the migrants who did not manage to obtain refugee status headed to Libya. So the photographer reached Tripoli where he continued working in detention centres and waiting areas for daily workers.

In 2012 he was awarded a CNAP grant (aid fund for contemporary documentary photography) then the Le Bal-ADAGP Young Creation Prize in 2013. The work he carried out for two years in Tunisia in the Choucha refugee camp (2012-2014) was displayed at a personal exhibition in Le Bal in Paris in 2015 and was published by Editions Filigranes. That same year he received a special mention from the jury at the Winterthur Fotomuseum Plat(t)form event as well as a work grant from the FNAGP (National foundation for Graphic and Visual Arts) and from the agnes.b endowment fund for his project ‘The Castaways’ (Libya) displayed at the Arab World Institute in Paris for the Biennale of Photographers of the Contemporary Arab World. Samuel Gratacap is a regular reporter in Libya for the newspaper Le Monde and he is represented by Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire in Paris.