Did You Say Unusual? / Boxed-In Bank - Two Faces of Paris Following the Yellow Vests Demonstration {Paris Street Photography}


Did You Say Unusual? / Avez-vous dit inhabituel ? © Chant Wagner 2018

Amid the tension generated by the Yellow Vests (Gilets Jaunes) movement in France, Paris tried to keep its cool while showing high levels of preparedness...

While press images focused on the more incendiary areas of the capital city as befitting their primary mission, in other places all was quiet as usual except for signs of quirkiness and the fortress mind, which all pointed to an undercurrent of something unusual going on.

Street artists spray-painted black suns on old stone walls and bankers boxed in their banks while leaving apologetic notes looking like white peace flags on wooden panels the next day. Merchants air-lifted Christmas trees balancing in the wind inviting you to turn up your faces towards the sky to take in the slightly incongruous spectacle of gravity-defying fir trees.

Things are changing, sometimes forcefully and weirdly.


Boxed-in Bank against Rioters or Fake or Gone-Amok Yellow Vests © Chant Wagner 2018

The least surprising elements in the mix were the rioters (casseurs) - not to be confused with the Yellow Vests - riding on the coat tails of the movement - of any movement in truth - so as to be able to break in the city's best shops and loot on sight. These regular hooligans are just petty criminals but they managed to color the yellow movement the red of a furnace.

Things are changing too fast; things are changing not fast enough. Which things will create real, profound and positive changes? What kind of desirable dominoes effects there will be? It's hard to all see it at once for anyone, but there are signs that change is underway.

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