The Paris Diary by Saba Hasan

I fell in love with Paris as a child when my father took us there on holiday some 35 years ago and I walked its beautiful avenues with historical stone buildings, huge parks…so much like my own city, Delhi but with that additional sparkle which quickened my step. Paris has grown on me since, with its wide omnipresent river, street musicians, roadside cafes, art, design, fashion, long conversations, wines from Provence, crème brule and an unmatched clear light in any season. Over the years, I have also seen the other faces of Paris cold, grey, harsh, intimidating yet for me someone always appeared in the guise of a Moroccan neighbor with mint tea, a local painter who is now a close friend, a jazz club on rue des Lombards or a walk in le jardin des plantes and revived my faith in life. This Paris Diary is an insiders view, that which we hold of life after years of travel when we have learnt to revel in the simplest of things, become aware of the slightest tensions or political conflict, find spirituality in the wind, leaves and no matter where, are almost always gratefully uplifted by a stranger who carries within him that elating music.
The Diary consists of 5 short videos totaling to some 15 minutes, 3 were recorded when i was living in an apartment on isle st louis, behind Notre Dame in 2009 and the last 2 from a short visit in may, 2013. You can tell from the shaky rough footage, which almost got deleted once, that I have used my handy cam as I walked around isle St Louis with no script in mind, taping the familiar and the quotidian. As an artist I see this roughness as a necessary aspect of my impressions, they are sketchy but like an artists drawings have the power to look deeply into the world around and within allowing the mundane to relocate the important in a fresh context, like a personal diary.

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