Battles and institutions

The metropolis of ‘le Grand Paris’ is a young political organization. Including twelve territories and 131 municipalities — it hopes that the entities therein will create a concrete, visible ensemble. If these institutional early stages interest the photographers, social movements, large insurrections and popular uprisings are highlighted; they punctuate the political history of the Paris area over the last few centuries. This spirit of resistance, of revolt, is also embodied by battles which are more invisible, silent, unexpected — is honored by several of the projects, capturing the discreet silhouettes of the Chibanis of Paris, listening to the cleaning people describing their working conditions, or riders on the RER B line, speaking of social disparities in the transportation system. One project is about a local, alternative communication network, and the photographs are only the last trace of them. It’s a way of remembering that beyond the territorial council meetings, the development of a new metro, it is the underground, non-official organizations as well as popular, collective citizen initiatives which are the beating heart of ‘le Grand Paris’.

Associated perspective
Romain Bertrand, historian

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