In Absurdlandia, Drafts, Hautvoir, Local projects, photography, Revision on December 29, 2015 at 9:21 am

Laugh? Cry? If nothing else, the messages in white chalk speak to the power of writing. I suppose the writers would use other means of expression if they had access to them.

There was a lookout – or just a young man having a smoke, who knows. At any rate, I didn’t stick around. Grabbed two fast shots of the crude drawing of an assault rifle and a bit of the message expressing the usual vulgarity aimed at the local constabulary. The messages run the length of the esplanade. A version of Stephen Crane’s A man said to the universe *.

A long, long time ago, in another country but in the same kind of neighborhood, the boys rumbled with chains in the alley behind the apartment. Boredom – some offshoots of.

On the Nouvel Obs electronic edition, I look at individual faces in a shot done of the crowd doing a practice run on pogroms in Ajaccio. Men, women, children. So many of them, smiling to the camera – look! a photographer! he noticed me! At last! “Sir, I exist!” (“You’ll publish the picture on a national edition? Coooool.” And so on.)

You don’t cure boredom with tazers, tear gas, truncheons or jail terms. Obvious, no? Obvious, but common sensical stuff doesn’t make for great headlines and award-winning shots of war-ravaged  neighborhoods.

Ergo, laughter? Worth a try. Kills boredom dead. Harder to produce than tears though. Finding the right distance. Finding the right angle.


* A man said to the universe: “Sir I exist!” “However,” replied the universe, “The fact has not created in me A sense of obligation.” (Stephen Crane, 1871-1900)


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