Revisiting Nice in France and its people

Spending another few days in Nice this May meant some further street photography along its flashy promenade, in the historic and busy old town, and down the gritty back streets of the city centre.

A population of roughly 370.000 people, Nice is the fifth most populous city in France, and the second most populous after Marseille at the Mediterranean coast. While at least 10% of its inhabitants are of foreign citizenship, the city of Nice has traditionally seen a large consistent in- and outflux of tourists and migrants all year long. The resulting picture is a population of a vast cultural and ethnic diversity. With the rising numbers of asylum seekers from beyond the mediterranean and immigration from the east of Europe, the colourful image of multicultural Nice is enriched by a sociorealist aspect of hope and despair – the fact that the city is taking its time to react (some of the rough sleepers and poorest of the poor were in the exact same spot as when I was here last time), juxtaposes the glamorous lifestyle of the Côte d’Azur with a dash of harsh reality.

For a street photographer, all of this is in one way or another a given gift. Roaming the promenade, sneaking along the tiny streets of Vielle Nice, or going for a discovery walk along the streets around the train station, one will encounter faces and moments just waiting to be caught on film.

All images taken with a Leica M6, on Rollei RPX400 film, developed in my own basement with Adonal/Rodinal. Lenses: Leica 35mm Summicron F2, 90mm Elmarit-M. Flash: Leica SF-20.

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