The Dark Side of the City of Lights

Updated: Aug 8, 2019

Without a doubt, Paris is one of the most popular tourist destinations with its renowned architecture, delectable treats, and rich culture. However, there is a dark side of the city that is hidden to typical tourists: homelessness.

Surprisingly, approximately "16.1% of Parisians live below the poverty line", suggesting that there are around 436,000 people lacking fundamental needs. Estimates claim that at least half of these individuals are immigrants without means of securing employment. The prominent reason for these staggering statistics is the high living cost of Paris.


David Tesinsky

David Tesinsky's carefully crafted photographs capture the reality of homelessness perfectly. Most of the individuals in his collection exhibit weak stances, due to their hunched backs, flaccid arms, and various facial expressions ranging from contentment to neutrality to frustration. Not only does Tesinsky focus on the body language of his subjects, but also on the technical elements of his photos, as shown by their harsh lighting and sharpness. Additionally, in most photos, the placement of the individuals follow the rule-of-thirds, an important tool to guarantee viewer comprehension. Most importantly, Tesinsky's subject's are often captured as small.

All of these emotional and design-related aspects allow Tesinsky to use his visual experiences to profoundly explain the condition of homelessness and emphasize the scale of the issue. The individuals are visually seen as small in comparison to the vast, empty space that encompasses them. This undoubtedly implies that the individuals themselves can't help but feel as if they themselves are as small and insignificant, like specks of dust to the world around them. With no sense of purpose, these people have become lifeless which is extremely evident to viewers from the body language, lighting, and subject placement in each photo.

"Photography is a weapon and a cake for me at the same time. It can open the eyes of people by seeing moments captured my way and also feel a pleasure by having the good times looking at them" ~ David Tesinsky

Ultimately, it is important to note that poverty continues to be a terror that will haunt the human race until the end of time. David Tesinsky's photo-journalism of the situation in Paris is a perfect example of how art can be used to spark action and bring attention to these terrors, so they are not neglected and left to worsen uncontrollably.



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