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David Deloustal : the street as a mirror : Belsunce


In his book “Belsunce”, Marseille photographer David Deloustal examines his city through a long journey through the central Belsunce district. Far from the usual clichés.

However, as Gustavo Minas, the book’s preface writer and a well-known figure in contemporary street photography, points out, the work explores less an objective reality than a succession of intimate landscapes. “It’s street photography, yes, but street photography like a broken mirror.”

“Belsunce, writes Gustavo Minas, is a district in the center of Marseille, but how important is this information when you look at the obsessive work developed by David Deloustal throughout 2023 in this part of the city? Deloustal tells me in words about the poverty and precariousness of this area of France’s oldest city, but honestly, what stands out for me in his images are his inner worlds rather than any objective reality.

David uses the street as a broken mirror. Their characters, blurred visions, twisted horizons and dirty textures offer us a plunge into their imaginary world and into ourselves, and make us wonder: to what extent is this captured anxiety the result of the environment in which these characters are inserted? Or is this anxiety found only in the author or in the reader who can identify with the work?

Whatever the answer, it’s hard not to be carried away by this invitation to a dizzying ride. Even when shooting during the day, the mood of David’s images suggests the plot of a modern film noir. Here, this sinister atmosphere is found not only in the symbolic characters of the genre, like the detective and the femme fatale, but also in the children and even the pets, who seem to absorb and reflect these dark lights.

Despite this uninviting “reality”, we are drawn to stroll through Belsunce by the energy and dynamism of these images, and especially by the gazes of the characters, who often tell us what to look for. The force of these glances makes us feel more like a stroller in these streets than a viewer of a photo book.

Above all, this series aims to exceed expectations. Firstly, the work shatters the common expectation of a certain glamour associated with the Mediterranean region of France. At the same time, Deloustal’s series also rejects any expectation of redemption, meaning that its conclusion is as dark and desperate as it’s unfolding.”


David Deloustal is a photographer based in Marseille and the author of two books:  “Belsunce”, self-published, and “Cars”, due out next spring.

Self-taught, he began photography in 2021. He shoots in black and white. Notably influenced by Robert Franck, Anders Petersen, Krass Clement, Trent Parke, Michael Ackerman, Paulo Nozolino.

His work can be followed on Flickr and Instagram (@david_deloustal).

His next book is currently being designed. It will be called “Crowds”.


David Deloustal : Belsunce
65 photos / 70 pp / €70
To place an order, please contact [email protected]

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