In March of 2006, a series of protests placed France under the attention of the entire world: young people, mostly students, took the streets with home-made bombs, stones and words of protest to show their disapproval of parliamentary laws regarding the first job. Actually, the approval of a clause that allowed employers to fire their employees without the need for a justification or indemnity was the last straw in an outburst that had been brewing for years.
Between 2005 and 2006, French photographer Denis Darzacq dedicated himself to capturing images of young people, whose bodies were in free-fall, while their faces mirrored orderly and submissive expressions. Such was the artist's perception of what was going on around him: an entire generation underused by the education system and the job market, ignored by a society, in which social differences get deeper every year as a product of a stagnated economy and growing cultural prejudice.
From Darzacq's point of view, in France, someone could fall from the sky and noone in the street would care. What we saw during those days, in the streets of Tours, Orleans, Marseille or Rennes, all the violence and arrests that were broadcast are a proof that the spirit of young French people remains untamed and unable to accept kindly the indifference of everyone around them towards the problems rotting the country; especially when it comes to minorities and more underpriviledged areas (where protests started).
The pictures from this series, called La Chute earned the photographer the first prize at the World Press Photo 2007 and will be in an exhibit until the 22nd of November at the Pavillon Carré de Baudoin, along with 5 other topics explored by the artist.
Don't forget to check out this video showing the behind the scenes in the production of these amazing photographs of bodies in free-fall.