October 5 2013.
Paris’ ‘Nuit Blanche’ festival started for us with a bang – you really couldn’t miss the massive conga line of around 50 African drummers marching and dancing down our street with a crowd of a couple of hundred tagging along behind clapping and whooping in time to the music and the call-and-response chants.
Literally ‘White night’ – it is an arts event in which major galleries and government buildings and many smaller galleries open their doors for free – many of them until dawn. It is a final resistance to the inexorable shortening of the days into Winter, and it is quite the celebration. The Marais district comes alive and people stream out into the open spaces in front of the Town Hall (Hotel de Ville).
The Hotel de Ville is lit up in spectacular fashion
and it becomes a meeting place for Parisians of all ages
Even the spiders have their own light show
We visited a small photographic exhibition at around 11.30pm – interesting concept, buildings photographed, along with what lies behind, and the building then partially erased as though transparent to show what lies behind in a partly fractured image – always ‘under erasure’ or as the French would say: “sous rature‘. Obviously we couldn’t photograph in the gallery – but this was from their poster – and shows just a little of the interesting concept behind the work.
It was great strolling across the bridges and seeing people out and celebrating life
And of course the light show went on well into the night
It was as unexpected as it was delightful – and what a wonderful concept to throw open the city for one night of the year 🙂