Saturday, February 06, 2010

The home of the homeless?


I think it takes much more than an exhibition to eradicate the homeless issue, but this morning, when I heard about the photo exhibit that the NGO Médecins du monde (doctors of the world) had just installed at Place de la Bastille, I felt like checking it. It takes place in the little glass house you can see in the background in this photo and it gathers several photos by Olivier Jobard that depict the life of immigrants who come to Europe and don't manage to live anywhere else than in the street. It's not exactly the merriest exhibition in Paris at the moment, but it's worth the look. More on the website.

33 comments:

  1. There is no good answer for that. Raising awareness is good, although I'm not sure it'll change people's attitude. Worth a try though.

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  2. Maybe the walls are symbolic. There is just hiding from this problem. You can't ignore what is right in front of your face.

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  3. I can find few bad things to say about Paris, but homelessness - which has undoubtedly been on the rise over the past decade or so - in a city which benefits to the tune of millions from public monuments is a disgrace. For example, how much is one percent of the annual revenue from the Eiffel Tower? Enough to solve this lamentable problem, I imagine. So why isn't something like this being done? It's a solvable problem, Parisians - get to it! ... Please note, the above was written with love: for the city and *all* its inhabitants. {:-)

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  4. Oh Eric,
    It's a heartbreak here in Birmingham and in Paris isn't it? I grieve that we don't have an answer for these people. THey have so many issues. It seems mind boggling. I wonder if any of our countries are getting a handle on it. So very sad.
    V

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  5. A different take (comme on dit ici) for you—slightly dépriment. But it needs to be acknowledged, so thank you. It's a problem, for sure, so what's the solution?
    At the moment, here in the U.S we're dealing with our hospitals wondering who is going to pay for the injured Haitians being treated here. I say, let's ask all the AIG executives who are getting bonuses to chip in some big bucks.

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  6. Hear here, Alexa.

    It's a worldwide problem. I think we imagine Paris to be perfect (well, I do) but it's a city, after all, and it attracts all sorts. Cities are imperfect; problems like this are overwhelming. 'Twas ever thus. Homelessness has always existed. It's only the word that's new.

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  7. I do agree with you Petrea. Only the word is new. In French, the translation for "homelessness" is "le fait d'être sans-abri". See how longer it is in French to say the same thing. Anyway, it is for sure a true heartbreak, like Virginia said.
    It was nice from you, Eric, to feel like going up to there and giving this exhibition an echo. Thanks.

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  8. Yes, always the same sad problem :(
    Like the perspective pic Eric :)

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  9. Thanks for sharing, Eric. Every time I come to Paris my heart breaks for the homeless people I see huddled in doorways and making their beds on church steps. I watched the video on the link you provided and I thank God there are organizations like Doctors of the World that are helping.

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  10. As everyone has agreed, it's certainly a heartbreaking issue in cities around the world (including here in Sydney). My take on the famous 'Tenin perspective' is that it's broader than just beautiful photos of a beautiful city (sometimes taken from that unique perspective) - but includes the real issues and images of a living, breathing city with all of it's problems. This combination makes for compelling daily viewing.

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  11. As everyone has agreed, it's certainly a heartbreaking issue in cities around the world (including here in Sydney). My take on the famous 'Tenin perspective' is that it's broader than just beautiful photos of a beautiful city (sometimes taken from that unique perspective) - but includes the real issues and images of a living, breathing city with all of it's problems. This combination makes for compelling daily viewing.

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  12. (Sorry my inexperience as a commenter is showing - pushed that pesky button twice).

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  13. Homelessness is not something that comes into our notice much up here in the North. The largest town near here (almost 140,000 people in and around it) just had a story on the news about the number of homeless. They figured it was about 800 people. With the cold weather we had the past few weeks, it has been very dangerous to be outside for long periods of time and the churches and other places in the area have been opening their doors for refuge at night. It certainly makes me thankful for the blessing of a home that is warm and safe.

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  14. Petrea: I'm sure you'll agree that this problem is only as overwhelming as we think it is.

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  15. Eric your decision to go visit the site, highlights your compassion for the homeless and emphasizes that this phenomenon has spread to all major metropolitan cities across the globe. Awareness is the beginning; taking a position to solve it, is a step toward eradicating it (I hope and wish).

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  16. I really like your clever comments, well as usual. Such as Winsome or Bécane ones (yes, awaresness is a lot) to speak only about the latest ones. Or like Christie's : "It certainly makes me thankful for the blessing of a home that is warm and safe". It is exactly what I think about PDP home, BTW. If you don't mind... PDP is quite a home for me.

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  26. I can reach few bad things to say virtually Paris, but homelessness - which has doubtless been on the increment over the foregone decennium or so - in a city which benefits to the set of billions from overt monuments is a dishonour. For lesson, how more is one proportion of the yearbook receipts from the Eiffel Hulk? Enough to determine this lamentable difficulty, I imagine. So why isn't something similar this being finished? It's a solvable job, Parisians - get to it! ... Satisfy observe, the above was scripted with mate: for the municipality and *all* its inhabitants

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  27. It's a worldwide difficulty. I think we imagine Paris to be perfect (cured, I do) but it's a city, after all, and it attracts all sorts. Cities are flawed; problems equivalent this are resistless. 'Twas ever thus. Homelessness has ever existed. It's exclusive the show that's new.

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