Promoting an insider’s view of Parisian suburbs
Author: Kaspar Björkman
This article is part of Changing the Narrative. Articles in this series are written by student or early-career journalists who took part in The Local’s training course on solutions-focused migration reporting. Find out more about the project here.
During the autumn, 57 photographs from the Parisian suburbs with captions starting with “My neighborhood is also… ” were posted on Instagram as part of what Bonheur intended as a competition of anti-stereotypes, an initiative aiming to highlight different sides of the suburbs.
Divina Frau-Meigs, a professor at the Sorbonne university in Paris specializing in media content, representations, users, and reception, has followed the depiction of the Parisian suburbs.
She says that the media coverage has come a long way since the riots of 2005, which pushed the president at the time to target the areas with more public policy. Then, coverage often played on stereotypes of disenfranchised, lawless zones where social inclusion is minimal, and she says there has already been a lot of positive change.
“Banlieue is not featured so much anymore, they have stopped being a sort of black spot of French media coverage. There is much more documentation that is positive about what young people in those suburbs are doing.”