Today September 10th was opened at MSH Paris Nord the photo exhibition Permis de démolir (Permit to demolish). Walking around with his camera lens, Euro Rotelli caught moments from daily life of La Plaine Saint Denis area, that is living an incredible fast and important change. There he crossed as many sign of demolishing than of construction. The exhibition is open until October 12dn.
Dilapid spaces waiting for a second youth or rebirth are next to other brand new. The photographs show these two faces: a new population that is working, children who play carelessly, mothers who are living their last hours of suffering in the old dilapidated housing preparing to leave, old businesses and new ones.
A nostalgia emerges, a feeling of exile follows suit. Some anxiety for newcomers is palpable accompanied by excitement. A protest from the elders emerges that see their neighborhood change. We also hear young people, who have built their identity with that of the neighborhood, say they have the feeling to lose it. However, the photos are there to say also that uprooting is also replanting seeds, building, giving a second life, certainly, different, but real and current.
Historically, Saint-Denis / Aubervilliers is a place where an immigrate lives his exile by relocating himself, like constructions. Here, one writes his story keeping in one corner of his heart the nostalgia of the other life. Here, elsewhere is “here and now”. It is no longer elsewhere because it has had its time, its natural cycle, as each element of nature that implants, blossoms, fades and gives way to another similar plantation, but never identical.
This work was done by Euro Rotelli, closely assisted by his wife novelist Daria Collovini.
A close collaboration, and a follow-up of the work to help her to be born, were led by Sabrina Belghith Generoso, president of the association Remarkable Identities.The architect Francesca Coden, friend of the artist, found him this ideal place that the artist had in his imagination. She also introduced him to Jacques Marie Ligot who collaborated at the beginning of the adventure.