An immersion in a council estate in the late 1980s
Started in 1987, this series of black and white portraits began with a meeting in the train:
“It was while returning from my village where, during the summer, I had photographed the inhabitants and my great-aunt Juliette that I met in the train a bunch of boys from an estate of Persan called “The Village”. They were about ten and had just spent a few days of holidays in Sables-d’Olonne. They wandered from car to car with a boom box that broadcast rap without anyone stopping them. I showed them the pictures of Juliet, which they said were “classy!”. And it was at that very moment that I asked them if they would mind me meeting them in their estate. Coco gave me his phone number. At that time, there was very little talk of estate problems but it was not without a little apprehension that in early fall 1987 I finally decided to call Coco. He gave me an appointment the following Sunday at the Persan-Beaumont station. Soon I knew I had something. Like a photographic revelation, allowed by the children letting go in front of my lens. »
Denis Dailleux’s immersion in Persan, a town in the Val d’Oise, lasted five years. The long posing sessions he led with the youth of the neighbourhood would probably no longer be possible today on this territory where the situation was already tense at that time.