I met the youth of Nantes, the city where I live in France. They are the ones who sometimes call me Madame, or hesitate to use familiar language in my presence, as if the distance between us were not so obvious. I proposed a photographic portrait to people who catch my attention. The place, the timing and the pose were then discussed. The question of identity and self-image served as a thread. It was not only a question of putting themselves on stage, but also of delivering a part of their inner fire.
Thus, from these encounters, arose unexpected conversations about a souvenir of the place, or confidences on the difficulty of everyday life. The successive lockdowns hampered the joy of being together and the fire sometimes went out.
It is also a story on the scale of the city, of its gardens which shelter the sweetness of life, of its river which carries death. In 2019, while a music festival was violently dispersed by the police, Steve Maia Caniço, 24, fell into the Loire and drowned. “He just wanted to dance”, said one of his friends a few days after his disappearance. This story is also that of Steve, whose name was constantly recalled by the places and the people I met.