After exploring a part of the 18th district in Paris and photographing lots of tourists and African woman at Tati, I thought it was time to go back to my hotel. The nearest subway station was Barbès-Rochechouart – a pretty big subway station where many things are going on (always watch your bags and belongings)
My eye caught immediately a large group of street traders. With my gullibility, I thought it was a rug market or a little flee market. Then I thought ”Oh wait… it’s Paris!” Most people here don’t know the word ‘legal’.
When I looked more closely, I knew it was illegal. It was too well organized and too rushed to be legal. They had 3 people who were on guard and the rest were all busy streets traders. If anyone was interested, the deal was closed within one minute. Everything had to be quick, quick, quick! For me it was really cool to watch. All those shadowy figures looking for cheap stolen goods.
I grabbed my camera and walked towards the fence. Until I was stopped by an African woman. She warned me to stay away from those people. They didn’t liked snoops because they’re afraid of being caught. She knows the area better than me so of course I followed her advice. I quickly grabbed my phone and took a snapshot of the crowd. I looked from a distance, and then I heard one of the guard yelling. People moved, stuff got packed and a whistling kettle was the last deal. Before the police arrived at the fence, everyone had already left.
Parisian street life is a spectacle ;) If you want to photograph something, be quick but most important always be careful.