aftermath

by johnwasneyheseltine

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Paris one week on. Ordinary Paris, normal November rain, but can anything ever really be ‘normal’ again ? The first rain since November 13th can do nothing to wash away any of the horror that still occupies the minds of all Parisians. Man’s capacity to inflict pain on one’s fellow man can be astounding as illustrated by the graphic first and secondhand accounts that are shared by so many citizens of this city, one that suddenly doesn’t feel quite so large.

I am beyond words, so once again I resort to photographs. Unlike most other actions they merely depict, they just “are”. No language is required, nothing can be negated or misunderstood, the question is which part of reality to frame. Clearly as we saw last week there are various versions of reality. There are no scenes of violence in my camera, no hard-hitting documentary here, just a couple of ordinary images of Paris after the initial trauma and before the events are processed to become history. Do the faces in the street betray the fear everyone still feels ? In my mind the wet zinc of these rooftops reflect a void, they remind me of the gloomy, family mausoleums in Père Lachaise cemetery, the greyness of oblivion and the finite nature of life. But this is just projection, nobody else will see this; in the end they are just ordinary but distinctly Parisian houses, a small and lovely part of the world that will probably outlive us all.

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