In the previous blog post, Madeline shared her film photographs of a quarantined Paris. A city usually bustling with life and visitors was suddenly desolate. As we continue to navigate a world in a pandemic, I’ve been snapping photographs of the city in “déconfinement.” From the simple joys of a florist’s flowers spilling onto the sidewalk, reminding me of pre-COVID-19, to the prevalence (and requirement) of the mask, Paris is in some ways different, and then not at all.
It’s the utter silence in the public transit; the crime-scene like tape that separates the bus driver from the passengers. Stickers remind us to keep our distance, encouraging something we once lamented. Now is a better time than ever to pop in the earbuds and look at the ground. The masks that render strangers faceless, another excuse to avoid eye contact. The cafés that once spilled onto sidewalks have their chairs sitting on each other, filling the void behind glass and locked doors. Regulars take their coffees standing up.
It’s the newfound eeriness at night, under the orange glow of the streetlights, juxtaposed by the delight of discovering a vintage car.
It’s the black and white foreboding of the future, combined with the colors of the present. Flowers piled onto the sidewalks reminding me that life is still growing and thriving. The doors of the city, beckoning me with hues of blue and intricate facades, are testament to life as art.