Back in an Insta: Breaking a Blogging hiatus

  It became mundane. The city’s sounds became lullaby, reassuring background music, its sounds a barely noticed backdrop.  Blogging  this became tedious, forced – much like writing about breathing patterns, the blinking of eyes, the beats of a heart for a distracted mind with neither the aptitude nor the appetite for close scientific observation. The…

Paris v Fox News: On Urban Poetics

In the past fortnight, there has been a concerted effort to defend the image of Paris in the face of Fox News’s assertions that Paris is a dangerous city with ‘no-go zones’  were Sharia Law (read: lawlessness) reigns. Evidently, this is quite an exxageration. Representation and Urban Poetics The importance of language in representing Paris…

#JeSuisCharlie: Reading New Discourses through Parisian graffiti and posters

Paris has rapidly gone through stages of  shock, then silent grief, and today seemed to be a highpoint of defiance and backlash. The graffiti and posters emerging out of this time expose an interesting  discourse beginning to emerge  – or rather, new lines of debate.  A week ago, the economy, youth unemployment were key. The public discourse seems to…

#JeSuisCharlie

I was going to write a poem about this important moment for Paris and France because it is difficult to capture the many thoughts and sentiments that the Charlie Hebdo incident provokes  (an apparent lack of talent, and a reality check dissuaded me from doing so). However,  in encountering the difficulty of articulating the space…

Into the Parisian Woods

It is January, temperatures are low. However, for the determined jogger, reasonable layering and minimal precautions against the cold  are all you need to jog without doing yourself damage in and around Paris. The region’s climate, at least over the most recent winters, seems not be inhibitive to outdoor movement (relative to weather further North in the…

Changed Relationship Status: A Parisian New Year’s Eve

A fourth New Years’ Eve in Paris was a landmark for this blogger: I realized that the city had grown on me. The marvel of first being in Paris has faded, the honeymoon is over. We’re officially committed to each other now. Rather than an artifact to dissect, and sing praises, the city has become…

More images of Occupied Paris

The video captures a very unfamiliar city, under occupation and scenes of liberation. How very far Europe, France, Paris, Germany have come in just 70 years.

Paris, this time, 70 years ago…

The past weekend was all about the decisive allied intervention in Normandy that turned  the tide of the Second World War. For Paris, liberation was not too far in the future. But, one would imagine that the atmosphere would have been tense and uncertain in occupied Paris. Late Night News On the 10th of June,…

Left, Right, Left: A Historical, Parisian Tale of University Graffiti

I came across graffiti while working at two very different Parisian universities.  They gave me  pause to think about how graffiti, as a sensory tool, is a powerful mechanism that engages – or maybe even ‘politicizes’ our sense of sight. Graffiti can challenge the beholder on several levels – as a critique and legitimator of the…

City of love graffiti

So, one of the enduring myths about Paris is that it is a – no, make that the , city of love. I had to take a picture of this piece of graffiti, a declaration of love, a literal writing on the wall. The graffiti basically is from someone too afraid to reveal his/her true…

Paris and Reckoning

It’s a moment of reckoning again. Or not. The current furore surrounding the French  political ‘earthquake’  –  brought about by significant far-right party gains in recently held European elections –  seems to be the cusp of one of many moments of ‘reckoning’ that have shaped French political life and Parisian history. Indeed, the theme of…