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Picturing a World

Banlieues

By the time her train reaches Paris, Jeanette is feeling scared, and this moody photograph helped me think about what was outside the window as the day darkened. Baron Haussmann’s remaking of Paris not only changed the physical look of the city, but also distorted the economy, bringing in construction workers just when residents were being displaced. The outlying shanty-towns where the poor lived was one result.

This photograph is one of several of Charles Marville’s photographs of Paris included in a Susan Stamberg story on NPR, An Insider’s View of 19th-Century Paris. For a blog post where it and other photographs by Marville that can be enlarged to high quality images, click here.

To explore Marville’s Paris, then and now, click here.

For what Jeanette saw earlier from the train window earlier in the day, click here.

For the train tunnel approaching the Gare Saint-Lazare inside the walls of Paris, click here.
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