This is a project that started north of Paris during the summer of 2015 when the camp set up under the La Chapelle aerial metro bridge was evicted. The hundreds of migrants who were living there would be taken from one makeshift camp to another.
During this period, they will be helped, supported and sometimes protected by ordinary citizens. Their spirit of giving goes beyond the usual framework of associations and community collectives. It concerns different age and social groups, different professions and all religions. Many donate food, clothing, others open their doors to offer a shower or a bed, some use their skills as caregivers or lawyers to serve migrants, others act as interpreters or use social networks to raise funds. A generosity and inventiveness that we will find in Briançon, Ventimiglia, or Calais whenever those on the path to exile need it.
By opening the borders to Ukrainians fleeing the war, Europe is demonstrating that tensions could be avoided under organized reception. It also states that this political choice is asymmetrical. This reality is hard to acknowledge for those who acclaim solidarity as a non-negotiable value of a democracy they want to defend.
This work is the portrait of these new “Just Solidary” ones. A title in the form of a tribute to those who act today as others did in their day, but above all as a form of evidence. Each time we would express a form of respect or admiration for them, with a shrug of the shoulder, everyone would reply us “We are just solidary”.
photographs by Bertrand GAUDILLIÈRE
From 03/05/2022 to 04/08/2022 PERMANENCE PHOTOGRAPHIQUE 110 Avenue Paul Santy 69008 LYON France