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An immersion in a council estate in the late 1980s

This series of black and white portraits began with a meeting in a train :

"I was coming back from my village where, during the summer, I had photographed the inhabitants and my great-aunt Juliette. In the train, I met the boys of the council estate the "Village"- of Persan. There were about ten of them, they had been on a holiday in Sables-d'Olonne. They wandered from car to car with a radio cassette player that broadcasted rap music, without anyone stopping them. I showed them the pictures of Juliette and I remember them saying "classy!" as they looked at them. And it was at that very moment that I asked them if they would agree for me to meet them in their estate. Coco gave me his phone number. At that time there was very little talk of council estates problems, but it was not without a little apprehension that in early fall 1987 I finally decided to call Coco. He gave me an appointment the following Sunday at the Persan-Beaumont station. Soon I knew I had found something. Like a photographic revelation, allowed by the spontaneity of the children in front of my lens."

Denis Dailleux's immersion in Persan, a city in the Val d'Oise, was to last for five years. These long posing sessions with the youth of the neighbourhood would probably no longer be possible today, in this estate where the situation was already tense then.

The book "Persan-Beaumont" is published by Le bec en l'air.

To order hi-res picture:

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