nico oved | photographer
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 Banlieues #5 – Cité des Beaudottes, Sevran, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006. 40"x50"   l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement   An enclosed courtyard like this one illustrates perfectly the failures of its modernist design. After the construction of public housing projects all over the world in the ‘60s it was quickly noticed that though there were large areas of open space, this space was usually enclosed and cut off from any sort of vehicle throughway or heavy foot traffic. What were designed to be open public spaces have ended up becoming havens for all sorts of crime. With little or no traffic moving through these places, they become hidden enclaves that protect drug dealing and other nefarious activities from the eyes of police patrols. 

Banlieues #5 – Cité des Beaudottes, Sevran, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006.
40"x50"

l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement

An enclosed courtyard like this one illustrates perfectly the failures of its modernist design. After the construction of public housing projects all over the world in the ‘60s it was quickly noticed that though there were large areas of open space, this space was usually enclosed and cut off from any sort of vehicle throughway or heavy foot traffic. What were designed to be open public spaces have ended up becoming havens for all sorts of crime. With little or no traffic moving through these places, they become hidden enclaves that protect drug dealing and other nefarious activities from the eyes of police patrols. 

 Banlieues #1 – Cité Montceleux, Sevran, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006. 40”x50”   l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement   Mirroring the hip hop slang that grew out of American inner-city ghettos, “Verlan” is a French vernacular spoken by the youth of the cités in the banlieues. Generally it is used to disguise or emphasize specific words by reversing the syllables. Ver lan = lan ver = l’envers (meaning the inverse)In Verlan, “femme” becomes “meuf”, “noir” (meaning black person) turns into “renoi” and “Français” (frenchman) is “céfran”. Also similar to the North American practice of referring to locations by their area code, (New York as “212”, San Francisco as “415”) the French who use Verlan refer to specific banlieue by the first two digits of its postal code. The postal codes for all the areas immediately outside Paris begin with 91, 92, 93, etc. Seine-Saint-Denis, the notorious banlieue where the 2005 riots were sparked, is “93”. Again in the tradition of twisting and misusing language, these numbers are not pronounced in the proper French (quatre-vingt-treize); instead, to the horror of the French mainstream, “93” is said quite literally: “le neuf-trois”.

Banlieues #1 – Cité Montceleux, Sevran, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006. 40”x50”

l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement

Mirroring the hip hop slang that grew out of American inner-city ghettos, “Verlan” is a French vernacular spoken by the youth of the cités in the banlieues. Generally it is used to disguise or emphasize specific words by reversing the syllables. Ver lan = lan ver = l’envers (meaning the inverse)In Verlan, “femme” becomes “meuf”, “noir” (meaning black person) turns into “renoi” and “Français” (frenchman) is “céfran”. Also similar to the North American practice of referring to locations by their area code, (New York as “212”, San Francisco as “415”) the French who use Verlan refer to specific banlieue by the first two digits of its postal code. The postal codes for all the areas immediately outside Paris begin with 91, 92, 93, etc. Seine-Saint-Denis, the notorious banlieue where the 2005 riots were sparked, is “93”. Again in the tradition of twisting and misusing language, these numbers are not pronounced in the proper French (quatre-vingt-treize); instead, to the horror of the French mainstream, “93” is said quite literally: “le neuf-trois”.

  Squatters #1 – Canal St. Martin, 10ème Arrondissement, Paris, 2006. 40"x50"    l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement   “L'enfants de Don Quixote” is the group of homeless protesters who recently set up a tent squat along the banks of the Canal St. Martin. They chose this bourgeois neighbourhood precisely because the presence of their squat would be so confrontational there. As their cause gained momentum, they were joined by many university students and others in solidarity – hundreds of people living in tents during the (unusually mild) Parisian winter to demonstrate the deplorable situation of the homeless in Paris. Their highly visible protest was also highly successful, as just after Christmas 2006 the French National Assembly passed a law enshrining the right to housing beside that of healthcare and education. 

Squatters #1 – Canal St. Martin, 10ème Arrondissement, Paris, 2006.
40"x50"

l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement

“L'enfants de Don Quixote” is the group of homeless protesters who recently set up a tent squat along the banks of the Canal St. Martin. They chose this bourgeois neighbourhood precisely because the presence of their squat would be so confrontational there. As their cause gained momentum, they were joined by many university students and others in solidarity – hundreds of people living in tents during the (unusually mild) Parisian winter to demonstrate the deplorable situation of the homeless in Paris. Their highly visible protest was also highly successful, as just after Christmas 2006 the French National Assembly passed a law enshrining the right to housing beside that of healthcare and education. 

  Roma #1 –   Aubervilliers, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006. 40"x50"    l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement   Unlike the protesters, Roma set up their tent encampments as out-of-sight as possible. Outside the city in the banlieues, these encampments are like fortresses along the Seine. Not just anyone can walk in; there are barricades and people guarding the entranceways. Feeling the same discrimination as the new immigrants in the cités, Roma respond by carving out their own piece of land and creating their own living environment. However, the mere existence of these encampments is a symptom of the same problem affecting the banlieues and the homeless – the failure of the famous French welfare state to find a place for these people. 

Roma #1 – Aubervilliers, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006.
40"x50"

l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement

Unlike the protesters, Roma set up their tent encampments as out-of-sight as possible. Outside the city in the banlieues, these encampments are like fortresses along the Seine. Not just anyone can walk in; there are barricades and people guarding the entranceways. Feeling the same discrimination as the new immigrants in the cités, Roma respond by carving out their own piece of land and creating their own living environment. However, the mere existence of these encampments is a symptom of the same problem affecting the banlieues and the homeless – the failure of the famous French welfare state to find a place for these people. 

  Roma #2 –   Aubervilliers, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006. 40"x50"    l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement   Like the banlieues, these Roma encampments embody the Culture of Despair: a dogged determination from these people to live their daily lives, yet a capitulation to the idea that they cannot integrate into mainstream French society. In this particular case, the Roma are reminded of the undesirable location of their encampment when the earth shakes every five minutes as an RER train passes overhead. The relative calm of the banks of the Seine is interrupted with the sound of something akin to an airplane landing beside them at regular intervals – day in and day out. 

Roma #2 – Aubervilliers, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006.
40"x50"

l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement

Like the banlieues, these Roma encampments embody the Culture of Despair: a dogged determination from these people to live their daily lives, yet a capitulation to the idea that they cannot integrate into mainstream French society. In this particular case, the Roma are reminded of the undesirable location of their encampment when the earth shakes every five minutes as an RER train passes overhead. The relative calm of the banks of the Seine is interrupted with the sound of something akin to an airplane landing beside them at regular intervals – day in and day out. 

  Banlieues #2 – Cité des Beaudottes, Sevran, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006. 40"x50"    l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement   This school, as innocuous as it seems, was the site of an event that helped catapult the 2005 riots into the international media. On one of the first nights of the riots, several classrooms in the school were firebombed as vandals threw Molotov cocktails through their windows. It is one of many examples of the irrationality of the rioting. Rather than attack the symbols or even property of those they feel are discriminating against them, the rioters ended up vandalizing or destroying the few businesses and facilities that actually serve their communities – making the banlieues even more inhospitable in the process. 

Banlieues #2 – Cité des Beaudottes, Sevran, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006.
40"x50"

l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement

This school, as innocuous as it seems, was the site of an event that helped catapult the 2005 riots into the international media. On one of the first nights of the riots, several classrooms in the school were firebombed as vandals threw Molotov cocktails through their windows. It is one of many examples of the irrationality of the rioting. Rather than attack the symbols or even property of those they feel are discriminating against them, the rioters ended up vandalizing or destroying the few businesses and facilities that actually serve their communities – making the banlieues even more inhospitable in the process. 

 Banlieues #3 – Cité Montceleux, Sevran, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006. 40"x50"   l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement   These apartments are occupied by well-educated middle class teachers who work at the public school adjacent. As a part of their contract they were offered subsidized accommodation in the same rough neighbourhoods they were assigned to work in. It's a curious policy to say the least – and probably discourages many teachers from accepting positions at those schools. 

Banlieues #3 – Cité Montceleux, Sevran, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006.
40"x50"

l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement

These apartments are occupied by well-educated middle class teachers who work at the public school adjacent. As a part of their contract they were offered subsidized accommodation in the same rough neighbourhoods they were assigned to work in. It's a curious policy to say the least – and probably discourages many teachers from accepting positions at those schools. 

 Banlieues #4 – Cité des Beaudottes, Sevran, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006. 40"x50"   l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement   These streets were the ones that were littered with the smoldering husks of cars and busses – blocking traffic in both directions. Strangely enough, though the rioting occurred every night, during daylight the regular activity of the community continued as closely to normal as possible.

Banlieues #4 – Cité des Beaudottes, Sevran, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006.
40"x50"

l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement

These streets were the ones that were littered with the smoldering husks of cars and busses – blocking traffic in both directions. Strangely enough, though the rioting occurred every night, during daylight the regular activity of the community continued as closely to normal as possible.

 Banlieues #6 – Cité des Beaudottes, Sevran, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006. 40"x50"   l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement   When these windows were smashed out, evidently it was decided to brick them up instead of replacing them. A community dominated by depressing urban design seems to only get worse. 

Banlieues #6 – Cité des Beaudottes, Sevran, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006.
40"x50"

l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement

When these windows were smashed out, evidently it was decided to brick them up instead of replacing them. A community dominated by depressing urban design seems to only get worse. 

  Banlieues #7  –  Aubervilliers, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006.   40"x50"    l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement   Eleven months after the riots, this construction of this “Welcome House” for migrant workers may represent French government efforts to better the situation in the banlieues. However, judging by the design of the building, rather than heralding a new direction, these efforts seem to be creating more of the same.

Banlieues #7  Aubervilliers, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006.
40"x50"

l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement

Eleven months after the riots, this construction of this “Welcome House” for migrant workers may represent French government efforts to better the situation in the banlieues. However, judging by the design of the building, rather than heralding a new direction, these efforts seem to be creating more of the same.

Banlieues #5 – Cité des Beaudottes, Sevran, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006.
40"x50"

l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement

An enclosed courtyard like this one illustrates perfectly the failures of its modernist design. After the construction of public housing projects all over the world in the ‘60s it was quickly noticed that though there were large areas of open space, this space was usually enclosed and cut off from any sort of vehicle throughway or heavy foot traffic. What were designed to be open public spaces have ended up becoming havens for all sorts of crime. With little or no traffic moving through these places, they become hidden enclaves that protect drug dealing and other nefarious activities from the eyes of police patrols. 

Banlieues #1 – Cité Montceleux, Sevran, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006. 40”x50”

l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement

Mirroring the hip hop slang that grew out of American inner-city ghettos, “Verlan” is a French vernacular spoken by the youth of the cités in the banlieues. Generally it is used to disguise or emphasize specific words by reversing the syllables. Ver lan = lan ver = l’envers (meaning the inverse)In Verlan, “femme” becomes “meuf”, “noir” (meaning black person) turns into “renoi” and “Français” (frenchman) is “céfran”. Also similar to the North American practice of referring to locations by their area code, (New York as “212”, San Francisco as “415”) the French who use Verlan refer to specific banlieue by the first two digits of its postal code. The postal codes for all the areas immediately outside Paris begin with 91, 92, 93, etc. Seine-Saint-Denis, the notorious banlieue where the 2005 riots were sparked, is “93”. Again in the tradition of twisting and misusing language, these numbers are not pronounced in the proper French (quatre-vingt-treize); instead, to the horror of the French mainstream, “93” is said quite literally: “le neuf-trois”.

Squatters #1 – Canal St. Martin, 10ème Arrondissement, Paris, 2006.
40"x50"

l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement

“L'enfants de Don Quixote” is the group of homeless protesters who recently set up a tent squat along the banks of the Canal St. Martin. They chose this bourgeois neighbourhood precisely because the presence of their squat would be so confrontational there. As their cause gained momentum, they were joined by many university students and others in solidarity – hundreds of people living in tents during the (unusually mild) Parisian winter to demonstrate the deplorable situation of the homeless in Paris. Their highly visible protest was also highly successful, as just after Christmas 2006 the French National Assembly passed a law enshrining the right to housing beside that of healthcare and education. 

Roma #1 – Aubervilliers, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006.
40"x50"

l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement

Unlike the protesters, Roma set up their tent encampments as out-of-sight as possible. Outside the city in the banlieues, these encampments are like fortresses along the Seine. Not just anyone can walk in; there are barricades and people guarding the entranceways. Feeling the same discrimination as the new immigrants in the cités, Roma respond by carving out their own piece of land and creating their own living environment. However, the mere existence of these encampments is a symptom of the same problem affecting the banlieues and the homeless – the failure of the famous French welfare state to find a place for these people. 

Roma #2 – Aubervilliers, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006.
40"x50"

l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement

Like the banlieues, these Roma encampments embody the Culture of Despair: a dogged determination from these people to live their daily lives, yet a capitulation to the idea that they cannot integrate into mainstream French society. In this particular case, the Roma are reminded of the undesirable location of their encampment when the earth shakes every five minutes as an RER train passes overhead. The relative calm of the banks of the Seine is interrupted with the sound of something akin to an airplane landing beside them at regular intervals – day in and day out. 

Banlieues #2 – Cité des Beaudottes, Sevran, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006.
40"x50"

l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement

This school, as innocuous as it seems, was the site of an event that helped catapult the 2005 riots into the international media. On one of the first nights of the riots, several classrooms in the school were firebombed as vandals threw Molotov cocktails through their windows. It is one of many examples of the irrationality of the rioting. Rather than attack the symbols or even property of those they feel are discriminating against them, the rioters ended up vandalizing or destroying the few businesses and facilities that actually serve their communities – making the banlieues even more inhospitable in the process. 

Banlieues #3 – Cité Montceleux, Sevran, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006.
40"x50"

l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement

These apartments are occupied by well-educated middle class teachers who work at the public school adjacent. As a part of their contract they were offered subsidized accommodation in the same rough neighbourhoods they were assigned to work in. It's a curious policy to say the least – and probably discourages many teachers from accepting positions at those schools. 

Banlieues #4 – Cité des Beaudottes, Sevran, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006.
40"x50"

l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement

These streets were the ones that were littered with the smoldering husks of cars and busses – blocking traffic in both directions. Strangely enough, though the rioting occurred every night, during daylight the regular activity of the community continued as closely to normal as possible.

Banlieues #6 – Cité des Beaudottes, Sevran, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006.
40"x50"

l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement

When these windows were smashed out, evidently it was decided to brick them up instead of replacing them. A community dominated by depressing urban design seems to only get worse. 

Banlieues #7  Aubervilliers, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006.
40"x50"

l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement

Eleven months after the riots, this construction of this “Welcome House” for migrant workers may represent French government efforts to better the situation in the banlieues. However, judging by the design of the building, rather than heralding a new direction, these efforts seem to be creating more of the same.

 Banlieues #5 – Cité des Beaudottes, Sevran, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006. 40"x50"   l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement   An enclosed courtyard like this one illustrates perfectly the failures of its modernist design. After the construction of public housing projects all over the world in the ‘60s it was quickly noticed that though there were large areas of open space, this space was usually enclosed and cut off from any sort of vehicle throughway or heavy foot traffic. What were designed to be open public spaces have ended up becoming havens for all sorts of crime. With little or no traffic moving through these places, they become hidden enclaves that protect drug dealing and other nefarious activities from the eyes of police patrols. 
 Banlieues #1 – Cité Montceleux, Sevran, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006. 40”x50”   l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement   Mirroring the hip hop slang that grew out of American inner-city ghettos, “Verlan” is a French vernacular spoken by the youth of the cités in the banlieues. Generally it is used to disguise or emphasize specific words by reversing the syllables. Ver lan = lan ver = l’envers (meaning the inverse)In Verlan, “femme” becomes “meuf”, “noir” (meaning black person) turns into “renoi” and “Français” (frenchman) is “céfran”. Also similar to the North American practice of referring to locations by their area code, (New York as “212”, San Francisco as “415”) the French who use Verlan refer to specific banlieue by the first two digits of its postal code. The postal codes for all the areas immediately outside Paris begin with 91, 92, 93, etc. Seine-Saint-Denis, the notorious banlieue where the 2005 riots were sparked, is “93”. Again in the tradition of twisting and misusing language, these numbers are not pronounced in the proper French (quatre-vingt-treize); instead, to the horror of the French mainstream, “93” is said quite literally: “le neuf-trois”.
  Squatters #1 – Canal St. Martin, 10ème Arrondissement, Paris, 2006. 40"x50"    l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement   “L'enfants de Don Quixote” is the group of homeless protesters who recently set up a tent squat along the banks of the Canal St. Martin. They chose this bourgeois neighbourhood precisely because the presence of their squat would be so confrontational there. As their cause gained momentum, they were joined by many university students and others in solidarity – hundreds of people living in tents during the (unusually mild) Parisian winter to demonstrate the deplorable situation of the homeless in Paris. Their highly visible protest was also highly successful, as just after Christmas 2006 the French National Assembly passed a law enshrining the right to housing beside that of healthcare and education. 
  Roma #1 –   Aubervilliers, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006. 40"x50"    l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement   Unlike the protesters, Roma set up their tent encampments as out-of-sight as possible. Outside the city in the banlieues, these encampments are like fortresses along the Seine. Not just anyone can walk in; there are barricades and people guarding the entranceways. Feeling the same discrimination as the new immigrants in the cités, Roma respond by carving out their own piece of land and creating their own living environment. However, the mere existence of these encampments is a symptom of the same problem affecting the banlieues and the homeless – the failure of the famous French welfare state to find a place for these people. 
  Roma #2 –   Aubervilliers, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006. 40"x50"    l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement   Like the banlieues, these Roma encampments embody the Culture of Despair: a dogged determination from these people to live their daily lives, yet a capitulation to the idea that they cannot integrate into mainstream French society. In this particular case, the Roma are reminded of the undesirable location of their encampment when the earth shakes every five minutes as an RER train passes overhead. The relative calm of the banks of the Seine is interrupted with the sound of something akin to an airplane landing beside them at regular intervals – day in and day out. 
  Banlieues #2 – Cité des Beaudottes, Sevran, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006. 40"x50"    l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement   This school, as innocuous as it seems, was the site of an event that helped catapult the 2005 riots into the international media. On one of the first nights of the riots, several classrooms in the school were firebombed as vandals threw Molotov cocktails through their windows. It is one of many examples of the irrationality of the rioting. Rather than attack the symbols or even property of those they feel are discriminating against them, the rioters ended up vandalizing or destroying the few businesses and facilities that actually serve their communities – making the banlieues even more inhospitable in the process. 
 Banlieues #3 – Cité Montceleux, Sevran, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006. 40"x50"   l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement   These apartments are occupied by well-educated middle class teachers who work at the public school adjacent. As a part of their contract they were offered subsidized accommodation in the same rough neighbourhoods they were assigned to work in. It's a curious policy to say the least – and probably discourages many teachers from accepting positions at those schools. 
 Banlieues #4 – Cité des Beaudottes, Sevran, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006. 40"x50"   l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement   These streets were the ones that were littered with the smoldering husks of cars and busses – blocking traffic in both directions. Strangely enough, though the rioting occurred every night, during daylight the regular activity of the community continued as closely to normal as possible.
 Banlieues #6 – Cité des Beaudottes, Sevran, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006. 40"x50"   l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement   When these windows were smashed out, evidently it was decided to brick them up instead of replacing them. A community dominated by depressing urban design seems to only get worse. 
  Banlieues #7  –  Aubervilliers, Seine-Saint-Denis, 2006.   40"x50"    l'habitat marginalisé artist's statement   Eleven months after the riots, this construction of this “Welcome House” for migrant workers may represent French government efforts to better the situation in the banlieues. However, judging by the design of the building, rather than heralding a new direction, these efforts seem to be creating more of the same.