Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Flag Waving Free For All

Paris iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Flag Waving Free For All ~

BONUS: For Street Photography Fans!

Old soldiers never die. They just gather rather forlornly under the Arc de Triomphe of a rainy Thursday afternoon for some now obscure ceremony attended by fastidious fonctionnaires and dreary dignitaries going through the motions.

Maybe I'm being a little harsh. The event drew a curious crowd of top-visiting tourists just on their way out and the gentle swaying of the tricolors made a colourful spectacle for a few moments.

It must be a bit of a delicate decision as to when to fade these things out. It's generally when the last survivor dies that questions are raised about the validity of the ceremony in its current form. Sarkozy already suggested converting world war one ceremonies into more generalised 'all war' memorial occasions, which seems quite sensible to me. It looks like there will always be wars, so we'll always have a reason for these things, take Afghanistan as a very real case in point.

I recently saw my favourite Monet painting in the Musée d'Orsay with his multicoloured dreamscene of waving flags on the Rue Montorgueil. And with the 14th July nearly upon us there'll be more flag fluttering to be sure.

Talking of which, in all my 19 years here in France I've never managed to see the parade. Too early, too many people, too wet, too late, too full bladder... any number of circumstances seem to conspire against me to deny me this marvellous photo op.

Then again, maybe that's just it. It's too much of a staged event for me. I prefer the little unexpected moments like the one above you just stumble upon and add to your experience. That'll do for me for the moment. If the 14th July flags me up this year, rest assured; you'll be the first to know.

And why not...
© 2012 
Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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