"All you need is Calais", titled the local newspaper Le Nord Littoral in May 2016. An ongoing project aiming at documenting the everyday life in my hometown. Although remaining high in the media agenda, the life of the city is often overlooked. I am trying to depict the broader picture:  a middle size city in northern France, an harbour and a border town, soon to be an EU border. A place which lived 200 years of British rules and 37 years of municipal communism. A society which underwent a harsh deindustrialization – after having once been the proud world capital of the mechanic lace production, its consequent economic and social hardships, and the rise of the Front National. An area where candidates for asylum in the UK transit for more than 20 years, base for a humanitarian crisis, and leading to a slow-paced but certain growing diversity.

In this series, I mix photographs and cyanotypes – an ancient photographic technique producing blueprints – in an attempt  to connect the present and the past. While producing these monochromes, I have in mind the black and white images of local photographer Paul Villy, who pictured the city between 1898 and 1958. If it is very different today –  70% of it was bombed to the ground during WW2 – I try to recreate a certain visual continuity.

Using Format