B&WEuropeStoryUne memoire du 13 by Simona Bonanno

Simona Bonanno’s work, ”Un Mémoire du 13”, documents the devastating strategy of jihadist terror in the heart of Europe. The project was born by chance because the evening of the attack in Paris she was where it all began: at the XI Arrondissement.
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Simona Bonanno’s work, ”Un Mémoire du 13”, documents the devastating strategy of jihadist terror in the heart of Europe. The project was born by chance because the evening of the attack in Paris she was where it all began: at the XI Arrondissement.

The next day, Simona decided to begin her project which in this way bears witness to the fatal effects of this strategy which has inevitably changed our lives as we tread the fine line between fear and the desire to continue living our lives as usual.

I was in Paris for a week, it should have been full of exciting events and important commitments. It was for an half, until the night of Friday the 13th. That night, everything has changed, the perception of the city has been modified, the smiles are vanished. We advanced as enmeshed in a limbo of anxiety and fear. The sounds weren’t no more familiar, the steps became fast, the gazes looked away. After the Paris terrorist attacks of November 13th 2015, French authorities have closed the top tourist sites in Paris. I was very impressed to see the huge Cour Napoléon empty of tourists in a warm sunny day; the Jardins de Tuileries were silent and static, with the chairs abandoned around the fountains. Nobody walked in the galleries of the Carrousel du Louvre,nobody took photos near the upside down pyramid. The bus 76, that I usually take to come back home, from the Louvre crossing the XI Arrondissement, went fast, unusually empty for a Saturday afternoon.

“Un mémoire du 13” is a diary of those days where commitments, enthusiasm, life, city, everything is stopped and frozen; Paris was empty, silent, motionless as we were, the “unaware survivors“. The XI Arrondissementwas cordoned off, access was restricted to residents. I was admitted to entry, but photographing was almost forbidden. I walked over to La Belle Équipe, the coffee that counted 20 people victims. I was there the night before the attacks. I should have been sitting at its tables in the terrasse, that Friday night. But I did not. By sheer coincidence. [Official Website]

Few days before the attacks.

Pyramide. It was Tuesday, the Louvre was on weekly closing.

Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel. Nice sunny afternoon. Tourists visiting the Arch.

Corbeau. A crow; the fountains of the Louvre were empty.

Cours du Palais Royal. Armistice Day. Children have at Les Deux Plateaux, art installation of Daniel Buren.

Le Louvre. Armistice Day. I spent some time inside the Louvre Museum.

Collage. A collage of photos took in different occasions days before the attacks, with friends and family. My
smile would disappeared in a few hours.

Friday, November 13th, few hours before the attacks

Paris Photo – pour Simona. The brochure of Paris Photo photography fair, with my french friend’s note.

Pont Alexandre-III. Everything was quite, the air was warm. A wonderful autumn’s afternoon.

Passerelle Solférino. We walked a lot in the sunny afternoon.

La Seine. I took a photo of my friends while walking. We were relaxed and happy.

A series of coordinated terrorist attacks occurred on Friday, 13 November 2015 in Paris. 130 people were killed. Three groups of men launched six distinct attacks. At approximately 21:36, two gunmen fired shots for several minutes at the outdoor terrace of the restaurant La Belle Équipe on the rue de Charonne in the 11th arrondissement where it intersects the rue Faidherbe, before returning to their car and driving away. 20 people died.

Plan du quartier. Map of XI Arrondissement. Places and time of the attacks, and my itinerary of Friday 13 November. I crossed the terrorist’s route almost at the same time.

Quartier interdit. the day after the attacks the XI Arrondissement was cordoned off, access was restricted to residents. Journalists and television all over the world waited for interviewing residents.

Mass Hysteria. The XI Arrondissement is cordoned off the day after the attacks, access is restricted to residents.

La Belle Équipe. The XI Arrondissement was cordoned off, access was restricted to residents. I was admitted to enter, but photographing was almost forbidden. Here’s policemen made investigation on the crime’s scene.

L’amour. a blackboard in the XI Arrondissement.

Arrêt Faidherbe. The XI Arrondissement was cordoned off, access was restricted to residents. Policemen
armed oversaw the area.

Marianne. Parisian people use to gathered in the place de la République to mourn and express solidarity
against the terrorist attacks, despite french authorities invited population stay safe at home.

Bougies. Place de la République, people place flowers or light candles to remember the victims.

Bougies. Candles in Place de la République

Mon Bus 76. The bus I usually took to come back home from the Louvre crossing the XI arrondissement,
went fast, unusually empty for a Saturday afternoon.

Media /1. Rue de Charonne. Television all over the world broadcasts the Parisian events.

Two days after the attacks.

Paris bat + fort. I should have been at café La Belle Équipe the night of the attacks, but I wasn’t. It counted 20 victims. Two days after flowers, posters and notes littered outside La Belle Equipe as mourning
tribute.

Les Caprices. A window shop hit by bullets. It was in front of the coffee shop La Belle Équipe.

Voir l’ardoise. The blackboard of the coffee shop La Belle Équipe, with the daily menu; the place where I
should have been sitting at its tables the night of the attacks.

Remembering. La Belle Équipe, flowers and light candles to remember the victims.

Media /2. Louvre. Television all over the world broadcasts the Parisian events.

Cour Napoléon, Musée du Louvre. The Louvre Museum is closed on Sunday. The surreal emptiness Cour
Napoléon.

Carrousel du Louvre. The empty gallery of the Carrousel du Louvre with the upside down pyramid in the
background.

Les Jardins de Tuileries /1. Abandoned chairs around the fountains on a sunny Sunday.

Les Jardins de Tuileries /2. Nobody walked in the gardens.

La Ville Lumière. The afternoon of Sunday 15 November was warm and sunny, Parisians people are finally
outside walking or enjoying the cafés, despite authorities have invited people stay at home.

Bouquiniste. The afternoon of Sunday 15 November was warm and sunny, Parisians people are finally
outside walking or enjoying the cafés, despite authorities have invited people stay at home.

Paris on t’aime. “Paris we love you”, writing in a shop shutter of the XI Arrondissement, the district
targeted by the attacks.

 

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