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Sarcelles is a city located 15km to the north of Paris. Symbol of French banlieues, Sarcelles is a heterotopia of modern French society. Laboratory of "vivre ensemble" (living together), Sarcelles represents both hope and despair of the urbanistic utopia of a post-war society. 

From 2015 to 2018, as part of my doctoral research (EHESS, 2020), I explored the social life in this marginalized city following a photo ethnography of ordinary experiences. I studied how the people of Sarcelles live and to which extent their everyday interactions socially define the image of the city. Based on a creative and multimodal photographic activity, I explored a variety of discourses and representations in this complex social space. Photographing was a way to capture the sensitive experiences of daily life through a poietic approach. This work examines how city dwellers see, perceive themselves, and embody the city through an anthropology of and with pictures. 

Supported by Wenner Gren Foundation, I made an exhibition and a photobook. These objects encourage new creative photographic practices based on multimodal experimentations mixing sounds, videos, archives, and texts. La Cité shows to which extent photographic storytelling might expand anthropological knowledge and engage with new publics through sensorial and multimodal practices.  

La Cité received the John Collier Jr. Prize from the Society for Visual Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association in 2023.

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A project generously supported by The Wenner Gren Foundation

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