One year in Paris

I grew up in Paris, in the 10th district, close to the attacks sites. I hadn’t been living there for the past eight years, when I came back in September 2015. I rediscovered the city daily life and came to witness those moments that marked its history. On the evening of November 13th, the attacks made 130 victims. The shock overcame the politicians’ discourses. The next day, the Parisians spontaneously gathered around the attacked sites. The state of emergency was declared; events, demonstrations and concerts were prohibited. Life went on but a leaden weight seemed to descend on Paris. At the same time, on social networks, on the walls, the slogan “Not even afraid” appeared. Despite the prohibitions, Parisians met at République Square. Bars, parks and public spaces were rarely empty. The need to gather seemed to be irrepressible. In my neighborhood, the Saint Martin canal was drained for a big cleanup and the urban landscape surprisingly changed: water was missing. At the end of the winter, trade unions and young people took over the streets against the new labor law. A video showing a high school student severely beaten by members of the riot police was massively shared. The movement quickly became more radical. Every night, for several months, thousands of people gathered at République Square. But this time, it was for dancing! It was the nightly meeting point for debates and unauthorized demonstrations during several weeks. The slogan “Not even afraid” turned into “Up All Night”. The movement magnitude and persistence were astonishing. More and more demonstrators were seriously injured by the police. Until November, Parisians appeared to support the forces but on May 1st demonstration, thousands of people ended up in Nation Square screaming : “Everybody hates the police”. Nevertheless, the government didn’t give in and maintained the new labor law. With the arrival of summer, the city came back to its normal activities, although there have been one million less tourists than the year before.

Paris from Belleville park, the day after terrorist attacks, november 14th, 2015.

One week after the attacks in front of the bar "la bonne bière".

A man look at the flowers and the candles in front of the bar "le carillon", in Bichat street, one week after the attacks.

Montreuil, Parisian suburb, the day before the terrorist attack.

Two men in a bar in the 20th district of Paris, two weeks after the attacks.

Seine river in the south of Paris.

End of demonstration against labour law, Nation square. Riot Police throw teargas to demonstrators.

In the 20th district of Paris, after an underground bike race, two weeks after the attacks.

"Long Live Love" and "Valls (french prime minister), we will hang you" two graffiti made during protests against labour law, May 12th 2016.

During a demonstration against labour law, june 14th 2016, a young man is arrested by riot police.

A young woman look in the street speaking on her phone in the 4th district, in Paris June 6th, 2016.

Buttes Chaumont park, 19 th district, april 4th, 2016.

Meeting of "Nuit Debout" (Up All Night) movement République square, april 4th, 2015.

South of Paris, 13 th district, december 12 th, 2015.

the Saint Martin canal is emptied for a big cleaning. january 25 th, 2016.

A police car was burnt during a demonstration against police brutality. That's induce a durty cloud on the Saint Martin canal in the 10 th district, may 18 th 2016.

Near Stalingrad subway station, activists from "nuit debout" (Up All Night) movement meet with refugees, April 7th 2016.

Ourcq canal, August 25 th 2016, 19th district.

Dancing during the meeting of "nuit debout" (Up All Night), République square, April 4th 2016.

A drink seller at the annual comunist party festival "fête de l'humanité" (Humanity party), september 9th 2016.

Vosges square, june 23 th 2016, 4th district.

Mayday 2016 : clashes between demonstrators and riot police.

Demonstration on march 31 th 2016 against labour law.

Republique Place, after a demonstration against labor law, june 28th 2016, blood from a demonstrator who has been injured by a Riot Police grenade.

Birds in the sky, near Republique square.