I spent several weeks in the emblematic places of Pigalle. Access is sometimes difficult, anonymity is the rule, the girls who perform on stage, some who go above and beyond, don’t like to tell stories. It’s a temporary job. Never a regular job. Soliciting in the streets is prohibited and passes are done discreetly, in the private places of certain night bars or in the hotels of the district where the girls have their habits.
French law (1983) prohibits soliciting: “Prostitution is not prohibited except when it undermines public order. But the solicitation provisions (Internal Security Law 2003) de facto prohibit it, at least in its visible manifestations, that is, on the sidewalks.
The Pigalle of literature and cinema chromos with its girls who entice you on the sidewalks was transformed, Aid created a wind of panic and limited contacts that are too easy. Wearing a condom is becoming an obligation and clients are becoming increasingly rare. “Wild” and unconstrained prostitution emigrated to the outer boulevards, the woods of Vincennes and Boulogne. Montmartre was gradually turning into a tourist destination for foreigners attracted by the aura of the name and ready to be plucked for a little thrill and fantasy.
Yan Morvan 2020
Yan Morvan is recognized as one of the great contemporary specialists of war photography, which constitutes his first reportage works. He contributed to Liberation and then became a member of Sipa Press, permanent correspondent for the American weekly Newsweek, he covered the main conflicts in the world. Periodically, he returns to France and reports on the margins of society. In 1994, he devoted himself to an immersion in Pigalle, its cabarets, sex shops and other swingers clubs. He brings back portraits of characters from the night, color or black and white images from behind the scenes, from the sidewalks where men and women throng to seek the thrill of transgression in the night.
Yan Morvan: Pigalle
55 euros – 238 pages
La Manufacture des Livres
Published on 10/29/2020