Sunday, October 02, 2005

Vagrants on the Left Bank

Vali Myers on the Left Bank, mid 1950s.

"They were rootless children come from every corner of Europe. Many had no home, no parents, no papers. For the cops, their legal status was "vagrant". Which is why they all ended up sooner or later in La Sante prison.

"We lived in the streets, in the cafes, like a pack of mongrel dogs. We had our very own codes. Students and people with jobs were kept out. As for the tourists who came around to gawk at "existentialists," it was all right to con them. We always managed to have rough wine and hash from Algeria. We shared everything."

-- the late Vali Myers, artist

{quoted in The Tribe by Jean-Michel Mension. Photo by Ed Van der Elsken, first famous in the 1950's for the book of photos, Love on the Left Bank }


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