Five hours from Paris on the TGV (Train Grande Vitesse) — in English, Very Fast Train — gets you to Nice, in English, Kneece. The area around Nice is believed to be among the oldest location of human settlements in Europe. Evidence dates humans in the area about 400,000 years ago. Around 350 BC, Greeks of Marseilles founded a permanent settlement and called it Nikaia, after Nike, the goddess of victory, not the shoe. Apparently the city went back and forth any number times between Savoy, Italy and France and lastly the French acquired it in 1860. Giuseppe Garibaldi, the person credited with unifying Italy was born in Nice. He strongly opposed its cession to France after the French assisted Italy in its war of independence against Austria. There was a plebiscite taken in favor French acquisition but Garibaldi argued that the ballot was rigged by the French. It probably was rigged. (25,000 votes for 30,000 possible electors. Suspicious) Savoywas also transferred to the French by similar means. Politics.
Some people walk their dogs, I walk my camera. The French have a word for this sort of idle behavior: flâneur. The term comes from the French masculine noun flâneur—which has the basic meanings of ‘stroller’, ‘lounger’, ‘saunterer’, ‘loafer’– which itself comes from the French verb flâner, meaning “to stroll”. Charles Baudelaire developed a derived meaning of flâneur—that of “a person who walks the city in order to experience it.
“Who among us has not dreamt, in moments of ambition, of the miracle of a poetic prose, musical without rhythm and rhyme, supple and staccato enough to adapt to the lyrical stirrings of the soul, the undulations of dreams, and sudden leaps of consciousness. This obsessive idea is above all a child of giant cities, of the intersecting of their myriad relations.”
I use my camera to experience cities. Hopefully to make statements, jokes and insights about the unnatural but necessary intersection of humans and cities. Nice is one of those cities that bumps into different cultures which provides an interesting melange of Italian, French, English, North African, Spanish and German. It did not take humans a long time to get here from the trees. Likely stay a while longer.
The irony that Baudelaire detested photography appeals to me. I could not have written a better description of what I do walking my camera.We cannot display this gallery