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Paris's 'Banlieus' : Ten Years Since ...
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
26 Oct 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005, riots broke out in the French suburbs. It started here with the death of two boys, in Clichy sous Bois, 15 km from Paris, an economically deprived suburb. Ever since, these suburbs have been the subject of stigma in the press, and in some cases of fear from those residing in central Paris. This collection of photos, shot between 2013 and 2015 shows scenes from everyday life in a few Paris suburbs. Despite being the focus of media attention after the attacks of November 13, 2015 led to a shootout in one near suburb, and mosques where 'radical' Islam is preached being shut down in others, they are - for the most part - normal neighborhoods suffering from a lack of attention from the state, and society at large.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 25
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
26 Oct 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005, riots broke out in the French suburbs. Cité Karl Marx in the suburb Bobigny. Mai 16, 2006, Bobigny, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 17
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
20 Oct 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005, riots broke out in the French suburbs. In this suburb, La Courneuve, 5 km from Paris, lower buildings have since 2005 - when the suburbs were on fire - replaced much of the dilapidated high-rise flats. 20 October 2015, La Courneuve, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 18
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
20 Oct 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005, riots broke out in the French suburbs. Residents from La Courneuve, a suburb at 5 km from Paris, wait for the visit of President Francois Hollande. In the background, the 15-story high apartment complex Mail de Fontenay, part of the so called "4000" complex, flats that have been built here in 1964. 20 October 2015, La Courneuve, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 19
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
20 Oct 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005, riots broke out in the French suburbs. A boy in La Courneuve watches the crowd during a visit of President Francois Hollande, who was greeted with boos. La Courneuve is 5 km from Paris. 20 October 2015, La Courneuve, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 20
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
19 Oct 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005, riots broke out in the French suburbs. The flat the "Petit Debussy" is now empty and is one of the last to be demolished. This suburb at 5 km from Paris, was called the "4000" after the four thousand flats that have been built here in 1964. 19 October 2015, La Courneuve, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 21
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
19 Oct 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005, riots broke out in the French suburbs. Young people in the suburb La Courneuve at 5 km from Paris. They live in the 15 story appartment Mail de Fontenay, part of the "4000" complex, namd after the four thousand flats that have been built here in 1964. 19 October 2015, La Courneuve, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 22
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
19 Apr 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005, riots broke out in the French suburbs. NESS, a Hip Hop dancer, here seen in the suburb Sevran. 19 April 2015, Sevran France.

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The Destruction of Damascus' Eastern ...
Unnamed Road, Irbin,Syria
By abdalmanamissa
03 Mar 2015

A series of photographs charting the destruction of several eastern suburbs of Damascus that fell under rebel control and were subsequently shelled and bombed by government forces. 

 

 

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 01
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
22 Jan 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005, riots broke out in the French suburbs. It started here with the death of two boys, in Clichy sous Bois, 15 km from Paris, an economically deprived suburb. Housing complex Chene Pointu is one of the most dilapidated apartment complexes in France, only here the poor can rent an appartment without questions asked. 22 January 2015, Clichy sous Bois, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 02
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
22 Jan 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005 riots broke out in the French suburbs. It started here with the death of two boys, in Clichy sous Bois, 15 km from Paris, an economically deprived suburb. Housing complex Chene Pointu is one of the most dilapidated apartment complexes in France, only here the poor can rent an appartment without questions asked. 22 January 2015, Clichy sous Bois, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 05
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
22 Jan 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005, riots broke out in the French suburbs. It started here with the death of two boys, in Clichy sous Bois, 15 km from Paris, an economically deprived suburb. Letter boxes in the housing complex Chene Pointu. 22 January 2015, Clichy-sous-Bois, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 08
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
22 Jan 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005 riots broke out in the French suburbs. It started here with the death of two boys, in Clichy sous Bois, 15 km from Paris, an economically deprived suburb. The building of a new police station was one of the measures taken after the riots. 22 January 2015, Clichy sous Bois, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 09
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
22 Jan 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005 riots broke out in the French suburbs. It started here with the death of two boys, in Clichy-sous-Bois, 15 km from Paris, an economically deprived suburb. Keita Konate 23 years and her baby Asa 8 month. The family rents one room of 9 m2 for 450 euros a month. 22 January 2015, Clichy sous Bois, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 11
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
22 Jan 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005 riots broke out in the French suburbs. It started here with the death of two boys, in Clichy sous Bois, 15 km from Paris, an economically deprived suburb. Mother and child during the midday school break. 22 January 2015, Clichy sous Bois, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 15
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
22 Jan 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005, riots broke out in the French suburbs. It started here with the death of two boys, in Clichy sous Bois, 15 km from Paris, an economically deprived suburb. Resident originally from Mali walks home after shopping, 22 January 2015, Clichy sous Bois, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 06
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
21 Jan 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005 riots broke out in the French suburbs. It started here with the death of two boys, in Clichy sous Bois, 15 km from Paris, an economically deprived suburb. A makeshift mosque in the appartment complex Chene Pointu. 21 January 2015, Clichy sous Bois, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 04
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
20 Jan 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005 riots broke out in the French suburbs. It started here with the death of two boys, in Clichy sous Bois, 15 km from Paris, an economically deprived suburb. Housing complex Chene Pointu is one of the most dilapidated apartment complexes in France, only here the poor can rent an appartment without questions asked. 22 January 2015, Clichy sous Bois, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 07
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
20 Jan 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005 riots broke out in the French suburbs. It started here with the death of two boys, in Clichy sous Bois, 15 km from Paris, an economically deprived suburb. Café Aram is the only cafe in the appartment complex Chene Pointu. 20 January 2015, Clichy sous Bois, France.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 10
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
20 Jan 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005 riots broke out in the French suburbs. It started here with the death of two boys, in Clichy sous Bois, 15 km from Paris, an economically deprived suburb. Bedroom for 4 children of single mother from Cameroon in the housing complex ‘Chene Pointu’. 20 January 2015, Clichy sous Bois, France

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 23
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
14 Jan 2015

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005, riots broke out in the French suburbs. The neigborhood "La Grand Borne" in Grigny is one of the most infamous around Paris. January 14, 2015, Grigny, France.

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Tiandoucheng: China's Fake Paris
Tiandoucheng
By Gabriel Gauffre
15 Nov 2014

In 2007, a massive project the likes of which can only be seen in China was set in motion: providing housing for 10,000 people in a suburb that copies the iconic architecture of Paris, France. Today, in 2014, even though most of the construction is finished, only 1500 people live in Tiandoucheng, a suburb of Hangzhou, Zhejiang, in South Eastern China.

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Paris's 'Banlieus' 24
Paris, France
By Steven Wassenaar
18 Jul 2014

10 years ago, on 27 October 2005, riots broke out in the French suburbs. Girl in the suburb Longjumeau. 18 July 2015, Longjumeau, France.

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Cairo by TokTok (18 of 26)
shubra el khaymah, Egypt
By Teo Butturini
24 Mar 2013

Traffic jams are very frequent in the subrubs of Cairo, even at night, with the huge amount of toktoks invading the streets as long as they can find customers around. Here the local "zahma" is jamming the road of Shobra El Kheima.

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Cairo by TokTok (20 of 26)
shubra el khaymah, Egypt
By Teo Butturini
24 Mar 2013

A driver parks his toktok in front of a café, in the streets of Shobra El Kheima (Cairo Egypt). Owners are constantly keeping an eye on their vehicles, as they are their only source of income, and theft is common.

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Cairo by TokTok (21 of 26)
shubra el khaymah, Egypt
By Teo Butturini
24 Mar 2013

A street view of Shobra El Kheima (Cairo, Egypt) by night, as seen from the back seat of a toktok. Until midnight the streets are full of life, with people sitting in the cafés or walking through the night markets, but residents complain that after that hour it's not safe to wander around.

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Cairo by TokTok (24 of 26)
Shubra El Khaymah, Egypt
By Teo Butturini
24 Mar 2013

A dark road in the suburb of Shobra El Kheima (Cairo,Egypt) as seen from inside a toktok riding in the night. These streets become very dangerous after midnight, when there's no one around and for criminals it's easier to act undisturbed.

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Cairo by TokTok (25 of 26)
Shubra El Khaymah, Egypt
By Teo Butturini
24 Mar 2013

Toktoks are seen at night, speeding down the road in the suburb of Shobra El Kheima (Cairo, Egypt). These vehicles have no licence or plate, probably they don't even comply any safety standard, and sometimes are tuned to reach up to 90 km/h, say some of the drivers.

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Cairo by TokTok (19 of 26)
shubra el khaymah, Egypt
By Teo Butturini
24 Mar 2013

A view of a night street market in Shobra El Kheima (Cairo, Egypt). Until midnight the streets are full of life, but when the lights are off it becomes dangerous to walk around in the local areas, mainly because of the lack of police.

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Cairo By TokTok (22 of 26)
Shubra el khaymah, Egypt
By Teo Butturini
24 Mar 2013

A man is seen in the shadows, sitting in the front seat of a toktok in Shobra El Kheima (Cairo, Egypt). Local residents complain that there are no policemen patroling the streets, and toktok drivers often take a friend with them when working at night.

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Cairo by TokTok (17 of 26)
Giza, Egypt
By Teo Butturini
24 Mar 2013

A view of one of the streets that branch off Ahram Street (Giza, Egypt) at sunset. Since the revolution police have disappeared from the streets of the suburbs, and many residents complain that it's not safe to go around after dusk.

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Cairo by TokTok (16 of 26)
Giza, Egypt
By Teo Butturini
24 Mar 2013

A view of the area surrounding Ahram Street (Giza, Egypt) as seen from the top of a building. The local areas are home to millions of people in Cairo, but they live completely forgotten by their government, with no hope for change or a better future.

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Cairo by TokTok (12 of 26)
Giza, Egypt
By Teo Butturini
24 Mar 2013

A toktok depot is seen close to Ahram Street in Giza (Egypt). The number of these vehicles on the streets of the suburbs increased dramatically in the last years, without any regulation: no licences or plates, no safety inspections and no insurance.

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Cairo by TokTok (23 of 26)
Shubra el khaymah, Egypt
By Teo Butturini
24 Mar 2013

A toktok drivers shows his knives in a dark alley in the suburb of Shobra El Kheima (Cairo, Egypt). Many people here go around with a weapon to defend themselves at night, since security is totally lacking in the local areas. Many drivers say they have been robbed of their vehicles and threatened with guns in the dark of the small alleys.

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Cairo by TokTOk (13 of 26)
Giza, Egypt
By Teo Butturini
23 Mar 2013

Two women walk past a smoking pile of garbage, in the local area of Imbaba in Cairo (Egypt). Hundreds of thousands of people live in these suburbs, forgotten by their government that despite promises is unable to provide them with security, jobs or even decent living conditions.

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Cairo by TokTok (15 of 26)
Giza, Egypt
By Teo Butturini
23 Mar 2013

A young toktok driver is seen changing the tire of his vehicle on an unfinished road in Imbaba (Cairo, Egypt). In the local areas streets are often unpaved, causing toktoks to break very often.

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Cairo by TokTok (14 of 26)
Giza, Egypt
By Teo Butturini
23 Mar 2013

A young boy is seen riding his bicyle on an unfinished road in the suburb of Imbaba (Cairo, Egypt) from inside a toktok. Many kids from the suburbs don't go to school, but start to work very early in their lives, sometimes at 6 years old, to earn money to help their families.

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Cairo by TokTok (11 of 26)
Giza, Egypt
By Teo Butturini
23 Mar 2013

A view of the streets of Imbaba (Cairo, Egypt), as seen from the back seat of a toktok. Living conditions in the local areas are very poor, and residents complain that the government has completely forgotten about them since the elections.

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Cairo by TokTok
Shubra El Khaymah, Egypt
By Mais Istanbuli
23 Mar 2013

The suburbs of Cairo, also called local areas, are home to millions of people, many of whom survive on scarce wages and in poor living conditions. Life has always been difficult in these impoverished areas, but the revolution has left many residents struggling as the media's eye focuses on Egypt's ongoing democratic transition.

Many hoped for improved living conditions following the historic June 2012 election, but have yet to receive the aid they were promised by the various candidates. In many areas of the suburbs, garbage litters the streets, sometimes in huge piles that are set ablaze overnight. No police or security monitor the streets, leading many to feel unsafe in their own neighbourhoods.

One of the most popular modes of transportation in these areas is the Toktok, a three wheeled moto-rickshaw that is banned in the center of the city, and can carry up to four people plus the driver. The popularity of these vehicles comes mainly from their cheap fares and practicality. Because they are smaller than a normal vehicle, they are efficient in the small alleys and unpaved roads that define the downtrodden suburbs.

The toktoks have no plates, licenses or insurance, and are not subject to safety inspections. Their existence itself is not addressed in traffic laws, despite the fact that in the last 10 years their number has grown exponentially, and that Cairo's streets are now literally invaded by them.

Drivers tend to be teenage and small boys, some of them are young as 6 years old. Most have experienced tragedies forcing them to leave their studies to support themselves and their families. Some of these young drivers are luckier than others, going to school in the morning and working in the afternoon, though most try to be home by 10 PM for their own safety. Cairo's suburbs are notoriously dangerous at night, and several drivers have been attacked, robbed of their toktok, and even killed. Some continue to drive in the streets despite the darkness, but carry with them a knife or a gun, and sometimes a friend, as deterrent.

This essay is a trip inside these suburbs, through one of the most popular ways of transportation that local residents use everyday. It is a glance into the living conditions of millions of people who have been forgotten by their government and have lost any hope of a better future, but whose number may play an important part in the next parliamentary elections.

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Cairo by TokTok (2 of 26)
Shubra El Khaymah, Egypt
By Teo Butturini
23 Mar 2013

A toktok, a three wheeled moto-rickshaw, carries passengers in the suburb of Shobra El Kheima (Cairo, Egypt). These vehicles appeared almost 10 years ago, and have grown massively popular in the overcrowded streets of the local areas.