Sunday, 17 July 2011

Paris and I ~ 'Whispers of War'

iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Whispers of War ~

Whispers of War, originally uploaded by Paris Set Me Free.

BONUS: For Street Photography Fans!

Meeting people who are as excited as me by adopted city is almost as exciting as being in my adopted city itself. OK, I admit, sometimes it's rather more exciting, but I'm not supposed to say that!

Folks from all walks of life come along with me on my Paris photo or curiosity tours and, between you and me, I often learn as much from them as they do from me, just about different things.

Last Saturday was a case in point; two lovely ladies from New Zealand came over for a half photo, half historical stroll tour and I did my best to supply some interesting tidbits of information whilst providing plenty of photo ops of course.

I had a very specific request for this tour, which was: show me something of the German World War 2 occupation of the city. Now this was a dramatic and deeply painful experience for France and for Parisians in particular. If you've ever seen that shot of the Rue de Rivoli lined with swastikas you'll know what I mean - it sends a flush across my face every time.

Finding actual evidence of those day though, in the actual streets and buildings of the city was both the real challenge and the most interesting part of the experience.

I'm ok with historical stories and discourses on past events, but when all's said and done, being a highly visual person, I want to see something. Bullet holes, old posters, evidence of rebuilt ruin, I don't care, but my eyes burn for evidence, as my brain absorbs the theory.

I'd like to thank this Kiwi lady in particular, because she sparked off a new angle for looking at Paris in my head. And reminded me of other quirks I'd always meant to cover but had forgotten about until just now like this one from just a few days back about nature's war-wounded innocent victims in a classic Paris garden.

But more than anything I enjoyed the chat about these two ladies' home on the other side of the world, the way they do things there, how they think about us over here, and a whole bunch of other, unexpected, unpredictable and enriching insights into other people's lives.

It was also the last day of the Tour de France, which was slightly unfortunate, as one of the most impressive theatres of the liberation of Paris, with one of the craziest quirks, was slap bang in the middle of the last stretch, at Place de la Concorde. But we made it, just, before scuttling back to Ile de la Cité in search of other wonders and, it has to be said, coffee and conveniences.

See you again soon in Paris, ladies, good luck with the rugby, and my most heartfelt commiserations about Cadel Evans (arch rival Australia's first ever Tour de France winner!). ;-D

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

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