This is a story about a circular land, a 250-metre wide strip that curls around Paris.
Contours tries to break the pattern of sensationalist journalism often used to depict the 'banlieue' of Paris. Drawing on the sense of socio-political hope that was present in the area from the 1920s and which ended with the building of the 'périphérique' motorway in 1958, I am seeking to recreate a fictional green belt around the city. By looking at how a selection of 'natural' spaces are used, I am trying to figure out what remains of the original vision and suggest how the area might look today if things had played out differently. However, the reality is never far from sight.
I took the majority of these photos while living in Paris between 2007 and 2012 . What began as a nagging sense of curiosity, grew into an affinity with the landscape and an urge to tell a story, which would go beyond the stereotypes sometimes associated with the territory.