The Paris street is an incredible example of urban design studied by architects and urbanists around the world. The obsessive attention to detail reveals the importance of civic space to the French. This photographic project investigates the numerous ways that street engineers and designers have attempted to resolve the complicated question of what to do when a tree has to grow out of a pavement. The photographs also reveal what happens when these seemingly perfect solutions are subsequently neglected; how it is never possible to completely domesticate the ever-shifting, alien forces of nature.
On a greater scale, the French Republic is built around the principle of freedom and equality for all citizens, an ideal which has been tested in recent years by the growing immigrant population. France is struggling to accommodate the new African and Arab French who want to be as much a part of the country as the white Europeans. The soundtrack for this film (an African busker playing an marimba in the metro) suggests that the images might be read as a metaphor for the awkwardness and complexity of these problems of immigration and integration.
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