A View From Pigalle / by Peju Oshin

This weekend I made a visit to the city of Paris. Over the past few years I have found myself visiting the city more often, be it be for personal or professional reasons. My trip coincided with Paris Fashion Week and Paris Electronic Week and cultivated a space for me to think about the relationship between Africa and Europe through music, fashion and architecture.

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As I travel around, I continue my fascination with the seemingly ordinary continues as I seek to look and listen through the lens of newness. What is it to be aware? What does it mean to take a magnifying glass to the mundane and create meaning from it? How can we continue to have critical discussions about our perceived and actual positionality? These are some of the questions I started to formulate during my visit.

Pigalle Basketball Court, Paris 2019

Whilst in Paris, I visited Pigalle as it had been on my list for some time. The famous basketball court was just as attractive in person as it is on Instagram. The court was populated with young men playing basketball and tourists hanging around the gate wondering when the right moment might  be to grab a gram worthy shot. As I sat on the iron seats with the erratic sounds of the rubber basketballs smacking against the floor before smacking against the backboard, I marvelled at the different textures and colours present. It reminded me of my obsession with architecture and how it can often unintentionally become sympathetic to the environment it sits within and the people it serves. The vivid colours of the court punctuated by the peeling paint, revealing the somehow tired concrete.

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The images and playlist function as an insight into my journey…