Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Tango In the Night: Street Photography from Marseille


I recently came back from a six day visit to Marseille, in the South of France. Before going there, I did not really know what to expect. Films and books tend to paint a negative image of the city, and whenever the praises of the French Mediterranean are sung, Marseille is seldom mentioned. I basically only knew that it was old (the Greeks and the Romans had been there) and the second largest city in France. And that it was considered to lie "just outside of Africa."

I found the city charming, with plenty to see and do, and with nice places to hang out. It's a very cosmopolitan city, owing much of its charm and character to the many inhabitants that stem from North Africa. 

I took a fairly large number of photos, most of them of people. I found most
folks easygoing - I was seldom rebuked for taking pictures of people, in fact, often enough people would volunteer to have their photo taken. One lady, on noticing that I was going to photograph her, laughed and said "Ain't I beautiful?", before posing for the camera. A young man (depicted here on the right) first thought I was a policeman, but then we chatted for a while and he let me take this photo.

One of my favourite hang-outs was around the old Fort Jean, at the mouth of the Old Port, and the adjacent (stunning) MUCEM museum complex. Here, locals like to hang out, to swim, sunbathe, fish or snorkel; while the youngsters made a sport of jumping off the fortress' ramparts into the sea. So it's not by accident that I shot many photos around that place.

I took other photos of Marseille as well, not just people photographs, but at this point I don't yet know if I will put them up. Meanwhile, though, here is the set entitled "Tango In the Night and Other Tales of Marseille". Enjoy.