“A French youth”
Is a photo documentary which highlights youth social conditions in the French suburbs. I have chosen to display some unknown faces and give them a platform to put their daily life, aspirations and constraints into perspective.
In the so called «banlieue» takes place a part of france future. They are between 15 and 25 years old born in France, but their ethnic origins are from north and sub-Saharan Africa.
These, mostly young French Muslims toil for many to abandon the initial social situation of their parents and to reach an upper status in French society. The issues are known and problems regularly expressed. 15-25 years old clash to the same difficulties whatever the suburb. They face many problems : premature removal from school, academic failure, decomposed families, violence and involvement in the illegal drug trade, unemployment and geographical fracture. What solutions are offered to them? I wanted to document the daily life of several young people from different suburbs, and look for the common issues that are restraining.
I was interested at first in the districts of the Parisian suburb, mainly Seine-Saint -Denis, in Villetaneuse and Épinay-sur-Seine. I broadcasted the work of associations who train young, disadvantaged people for employment in a professional activity. Also advancing the nature of the links which unite them, with their relatives’ culture and with their religion. I wanted finally to put all the talents and the cleverness which exist in these districts into perspective.
Then I’ve moved towards the north districts of Marseille. The city has been the subject of media spotlight due to a series of murders linked to drug cartels and weapons trafficking in the city. The underreporting of such violence in the north district is impossible. But I’ve chosen to describe the daily life of these youth face, the routine violence and segregation.
My last stage leaded me in Saint-Étienne and Lyon. I wished to highlight the existence of the French Muslim youth in a medium-sized town by getting ride of the stereotypical major cities usual picture. In France muslim community suffers from stigmatization and lack of representation. French government voted law which forbids wearing hijab in public space but since then nothing has been done to bring a new perspective to this community.
From south to north France I wanted to document this multiracial France seen through the faces of youth living in french suburbs.