Les amies de place blanche
‘This is a book about insecurity. A portrayal of those living a different life in that big city of Paris, of people who endured the roughness of the streets. This is a book about humiliation, about the smell of whores and night life in cafes. This is a book about the quest for self-identity, about the right to live, about the right to own and control one’s own body. This is also a book about friendship, an account of the life we lived in the place Blanche and place Pigalle neighbourhood. Its market, its boulevard and the small hotels we resided in. These are pictures from another time. A time when de Gaulle was president and France was at war against Algeria. These are pictures of people whose lives I shared and whom I think I understood. These are pictures of women – biologically born as men – that we call ‘transsexuals’. As for me, I call them ‘my friends of place Blanche’. This friendship started here, in the early 60s and it has been going on for 22 years.’ – Christer Stromholm, 1983 The book includes the original essays by Stromholm and publisher Johan Ehrenberg as well as newly commissioned texts by Jackie and Nana, two of the women who feature in many photographs in the book. The introduction is by Helene Hazera, a leading French journalist, actress, director, and televison producer who is also a transsexual.
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