The Transgender Women of Paris – Circa 1950 and 1960

I have always had a strong affinity for humanizing portraits of unconventional subjects – encountering Géricault’s portrayals of the insane had an immediate and profound effect on my psyche. Similar subject matter remains a favorite of mine.

So you can imagine how thrilled I was to discover these gorgeous portraits of transgender Parisian women in the 1950s and 1960s.

via Dangerous Minds:

“These beautiful photographs of transgender women, in Paris from the late 1950s and early 1960s were taken by Swedish photographer Christer Strömholm, who traveled to Paris in the late-fifties, where he hoped to create a new kind of night-life street photography. Strömholm lived in the Red Light district, around Place Blanche and Pigalle, where he made friends with many of the young transgender women who worked the streets and hotels to make a living.”

A true revolutionary, Strömholm published the portraits in his 1983 book “Les Amies de Place Blanche” (It’s worth pointing out that he uses “amies,” the feminine-plural of “friends.” As we still live in an age where we have difficulty accepting “chosen” pronouns and identities, this subtlety demonstrates tremendous empathy and respect that is undoubtedly ahead of its time).

I’d like to credit Dangerous Minds, whose piece first brought the stunning collection to my attention. You may also view all the works here.

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Mmmm…..World Leaders

Uhhhhhhmmmm – Le Figaro just released this article and tweet and Putin, whom they called “Poutine”. Is this to avoid any accidental semblance with the word “putain”? I’m so confused, amused, and hungry!

 

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FEMEN in Paris

I recently came across this amazing video from Vice News, which focuses on the revolutionary feminist group, FEMEN, and their protest at a French Nationalist rally in Paris. FEMEN, founded in Ukraine in 2008, has taken the world by storm through their controversial and radical protests, resulting in countless branches and supporters worldwide.

I was taken with this footage for a few reasons. Firstly, I am a fan of these women, and find their approach to be rooted in traditional radicalism while remaining extreme enough to garner tremendous amounts of media attention. These women have done a lot to bring feminism back in the spotlight – it seems that everyone is aware of them and their cause, and regardless of whether or not you agree with their approach, that’s what’s ultimately important.

I am also incredibly intrigued by racism in France, and have found it strangely difficult to have an open and productive conversation about the topic. It is not my intention to insult, but it is concerning how many seem to turn a blind eye to the problem, unaware of the insidious repercutions of repackaging  hateful tendencies as “French Pride.” Here, at a Nationalist rally, the group’s true sentiments are quickly revealed when they are faced with these courageous revolutionaries.

Check it out.

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Smoking During the Tour de France

This image, which I originally found at the Retronaut, elicited a very genuine “honh honh honh” from me this afternoon. During a recent trip to Paris I was astounded by the number of people that smoke, but this really takes the proverbial gâteau.

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Paris in April

Okay so first of all, I think it’s critical that we all click this link and make sure that we’re all listening to this song immediately.

Ready? Lovely.

So as many pals of mine know, I was recently given the most incredible gift ever and got to go back to “the motherland,” as it were…it was absolutely phenomenal.

Well before my trip, I’d always wanted to play with a plastic toy camera. I’ve always loved the light leaks and weird ambiance that they seem to lend, and my jealousy was worsened by everyone acquiring smartphones – and thus instagram and dozens of amazing filters, and you know the story..

So on a whim, after saving maniacally for several weeks (which is a feat in this city, I promise you), I finally bought my first Holga. And I am very, very pleased with how some of the photos turned out. Please remember, I’m not a photographer by any means…but I’m happy to share my travel pics regardless.

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Baa, Baa, Brown Sheep – Four Furry Friends Coif the Capitol

This is easily the most delightful idea I’ve ever encountered, and I think I’m speechless. Via Smartplanet.

“PARIS – The sounds of gasoline-powered lawn mowers could soon be entirely replaced by the gentle bleating of hungry farm animals in the French capital. Last week, four sheep have taken up residence outside of the Paris Archives where they will spend the next few weeks trimming the grass. The project is an experiment for launching a more eco-friendly lawn care in Paris while also baiting locals to an often-ignored part of the city.”

I love how this innovative idea boasts a radical and green approach while simultaneously encouraging us to explore an otherwise ignored corner of the city. Read the rest of the article here.

Photo by Bryan Pirolli, originally published in conjunction with the article

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Minnie N’a Pas des Croissants!!

There is a MASSIVE emergency at the café – there are no more croissants!! How on Earth will our poor damsel in distress, the beloved Minnie Mouse, assuage her angry patrons?!? Only Mickey can save her now…

Please click here to see this charming cartoon. And merci to my pal Bill Kartalopolous for sharing this!

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