Un Mémoire du 13


My Aftermath of Paris Terror Attacks

“I had been in Paris for a week, it should have been full of exciting events and important commitments. It was,  for a while, until the night of Friday the 13th. That night, everything  changed, the perception of the city was modified, the smiles vanished. We advanced as if enmeshed in a limbo of anxiety and fear. The sounds were no longer familiar, the steps became faster, the gazes looked away. After the Paris terrorist attacks of November 13th 2015, French authorities closed the top tourist sites in Paris. It was unsettling to see the huge Cour Napoléon empty of tourists on a warm sunny day; the Jardins de Tuileries were silent and static, with the chairs abandoned around the fountains. Nobody walked through the galleries of the Carrousel du Louvre, nobody took photos near the upside down pyramid. The bus I usually took to come back home from the Louvre crossing the XI arrondissement, went fast, unusually empty for a Saturday afternoon.

"Un mémoire du 13" is a diary of those days in which commitments, enthusiasm, life, city, everything was stopped and frozen; Paris was as empty, silent, motionless as we were, the "unaware survivors". The XI Arrondissement was cordoned off, access was restricted to residents. I was admitted to enter, but photographing was almost forbidden. I walked over to La Belle Equipe, the coffee shop that counted 19 victims. I had been there the night before the attacks. I should have been sitting at its tables on the “terrasse”, that Friday night . But I was not. By sheer coincidence."

I didn't have my camera with me while I was in Paris. I had just my iPhone, to take some photos at the events and with my friends. I photographed only the places where I spent my time during that week (the Louvre, where I was with the Fotofever fair) and one of the cafés involved in the attacks, La Belle Equipe, because it was very familiar to me (I went often and I should have been there that Friday night), but not all the places of the attacks.