Friday, 25 February 2011

Paris and I ~ 'Ex-Expat Blues'

iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Ex-Expat Blues ~

Ex-Expat Blues, originally uploaded by Paris Set Me Free.

Occasionally I wonder how much you can really hope to worm yourself into the deep underbelly of Parisian society as an expat and indeed, how much you should.

I even had a disorientating discussion with someone recently about what an expat actually is. They said it was someone who intends to return to their homeland eventually, which means I've just lost one of the few labels I felt reasonably happy using. But I don't like labels much anyway, so it's not a great loss.

Here I accompanied some active socialists who were celebrating the 140th anniversary of the Paris Commune, an abortive attempt at a kind of democracy which the chaotic circumstances of the times doomed from the outset.

I don't suppose they thought of me as one of the 'camarades' for a moment, but I don't think they took me for a tourist either, which is good enough.

Nobody called me an expat, needless to say, which in the end might just prove to be a pretentious device of displaced souls trying to invent an identity for themselves.

I think I'm gonna drop it, although it does complicate the response to the common question, "So what exactly are you, then?" I can never quite bring myself to say "A child of the universe," even if that probably does get the closest.

© 2011
Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.


Rob said...

Painting a new idiom to call oneself is a daunting task. If one desires to live somewhere else with a small notion of returning at some point in make believe future make one an expat wannabe?

I am curious as to paint brush and pail. Implements for the socialists to paint the town red?

oy, the puns....

Sab said...

An expat wannabe? Hmm, interesting, could have legs, although in my case it would have to be an expat donwannabe I guess.

Good guess with the brush and pail, and practically right. Check out this page with lots of info on the 'Collage Sauvage' of Rue Meurt D'Art to discover what it's all about!

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