In November 2005 Zyed Benna and Bouna Traore, 15 y 17 years respectively, die after being electrocuted by an electric generator while hiding from police in their neighborhood, Clichy Sous Bois, in the north of Paris. Their friends and neighbors get quickly angry. A pittched battle against police flares then up, rapidly spreading to the 42 kilometers of suburbs which surround the French capital. Shortly all the other banlieues of the most important French cities would also burn. The blurred and decontextualised images of looted shops, cars in flames and uncontrollable violence triggered the start of this report. One year later I decided to go there to try to better understand a reality that was only to be shown when the outbreaks of violence were attractive enough to get onto the media agenda. In 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2012 I went to department 93 in Paris, specifically to Seine St. Denis, one of Paris largest suburbs. Lack of job and the virtual absence of facilities and space for leisure leads young people to spend hours on the streets. Groups of friends, without any occupation, kill time sprawling out onto every corner of the peculiar and labyrinthine urban structure of these neigborhood. They pay close attention to their image and show their clothes’ brand. The presence of high cylinder capacity motorbikes and of the latest generation mobile phones are a surprise in a place where social advancement does not seem to exist. All of this is possible thanks to the revenue stream created by drugs trafficking, an activity that becomes relatively easy in neighbourhoods where police presence is practically anecdotal. Meanwhile, most families live on benefits. This report seeks to reflect the way of life on the street for these gangs of the Paris Suburbs: the gregarious life of their members and their love for hip-hop culture, together with scenes of daily violence, which form the ‘a to z’ of their everyday lives.
Kevin watch the TV in his mum's room before go to sleep