Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The flâneuse in Paris

A rather gloomy day of sightseeing in the City of Light marked my arrival in Paris. I've been here before, many times, thanks to my Erasmus year. But never to live permanently. Well... perhaps permanently. TBC.

The first thing on my list was the exhibition of Brassaï photographs at the Hôtel de Ville. Amazingly, I found myself among Parisians on their lunch breaks and not another tourist in sight; although maybe they were just blending in as well as I hoped I was...

I studied Brassaï's work at university in my favourite module with my favourite teacher which really helped me enjoy my afternoon there since I am a bit of a photography novice. This is not a review, although it is brilliant and I recommend it heartily! But in bringing back my memories of this class, I remembered the flâneur. 

The image of the stroller, an urban-explorer, obviously appealed to the romantic student in me and has stuck in my head ever since. The flâneur wanders the city and observes its people, its everyday existence but from a distance. He is detached and objective. In my seminar we discussed the lack of the flâneuse, where are the women wandering the streets of Paris? Well, it was a pastime that only rich and educated men could undertake.

So, welcome to the 21st century. During my stay in Paris, in my wanderings of the city, I will become a flâneuse and enjoy all that this city can offer.

No comments:

Post a Comment