“What Millions of Young People in France Really Think”
Inspired by photographer Adrian Fisk’s project, “iSpeak,” where Fisk traveled across China and India asking young people to express their global views, Gloobbi sent its photographer, Dela, into the streets of Paris to speak with young French people from all over France about their current state-of-mind.
The mission was to figure out what young French adults between the ages of 17 to 30 years old were thinking about in their daily lives, particularly in political, social and economic issues.
Throughout a period of 25 days, our photographer sat down with each participant to discuss their aspirations, fears and their thoughts on the current living environment in France. Each person was asked to write a message on a white sign to represent his or her ideas.
Dela randomly selected people in cafés, galleries, shops and conferences that shared with us some of their most intimate concerns as young French citizens. Some statements were typical of a young demographic around the world that of a desire for sex, riches and travel, but one current undertone in their discourse was their dismay in the rise of the cost of living in France and the shortage of lucrative employment in their own country.
One particular conversation was with Patrick DuFour, a 21 year old student/barman who is finding it stringently difficult to balance his studies and meet the rising cost of his rental apartment, which recently increased by 30 percent.
“In the past year, the rent has increased by 200 euros, add to that the cost of utilities, energy and food and it is nearly impossible for me to continue school, while at the same time working to meet living expenses,” says DuFour.
Indeed, many students mentioned that they had traveled, or were thinking of traveling, to places far east to access new opportunities in the region. Antoine Chapuy, a 21 year old Sales Associate in the clothing retail business, will be heading to China within the coming month for a six month stay in the country. He confessed that it would be his first time outside of France and that he was jittery about the move, but excited about the adventure.
A surprising fact about the project was the number of young entrepreneurs who had created their own companies, or teamed up with like-minded colleagues for business ventures.
In a country where talking about money, or one’s personal advancements in business, is frowned upon the idea of a rising entrepreneurial class of young ambitious adults resembling anywhere near that of Silicon Valley was a refreshing encounter.
However, lets not get ahead of ourselves, this is still the land of Voltaire and our photographer met many philosophy students who were quick to remind us about “la joie de la vie” (the joy of life) in France and offered a few encouraging quotes of their own.
One thing is certain, which goes back to Fisk’s findings in China and India, the essence of humanity remains those continual threads that unite all of us, the pursuit of success, love and a better future, albeit in the case of France with a lot of style.
Click HERE, or on the link above, for more images, including the English translation directly followed below each photo. To enlarge the image, click directly on the photo.
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Click HERE to see Adrian Fisk’s project.
Photos by José De La Cruz, A.K.A “DELA”