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Mahka Eslami

La cité du cancer

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Depuis plusieurs mois, je rĂ©alise un travail photographique sur le quotidien de Berriac, une ville atypique de 900 habitants, proche de Carcassonne.
Celle-ci est pour majeure partie peuplĂ©e de gitans sĂ©dentarisĂ©s Ă  la fn des annĂ©es 1960.
A l'Ă©poque, des familles ont Ă©tĂ© logĂ©es Ă  la citĂ© de l'EspĂ©rance. Le nomadisme rĂ©volu, la communautĂ© allait devoir s'acculturer Ă  la vie dans des "maisons en dur". Mais après seulement une poignĂ©e d'annĂ©es, les premières maladies sont apparues. La citĂ© de l'EspĂ©rance a Ă©tĂ© construite Ă  l'aplomb des lignes haute tension de la centrale EDF. Les cancers prolifèrent autant que la misère sociale et Ă©conomique.
Michel Soulès, 52 ans, seule maire gitan de France, a Ă©tĂ© Ă©lu Ă  80% des voix, dont celles de la communautĂ© gitane. Il a comme ambition de dĂ©truire la citĂ© de l'EspĂ©rance. Mais entre conservatisme et attachement, tous les habitants ne partagent pas ce projet. Les pouvoirs publics, eux, ferment les yeux. De mĂŞme que les dirigeants d'EDF qui entravent systĂ©matiquement les procĂ©dures judiciaires malgrĂ© la multiplication des expertises. 
Mon travail photographique documente le quotidien de ces familles, dans lequel j'ai pu m'immerger au fl des jours. 

For several months, I have been photographing and documenting everyday life in Berriac, an uncomon town of about 900 residents located nearby Carcassonne.
The city is predominantly populated by Roma who settled there in the late 1960s. At the time, these families resided in a neighborhood called « City of Hope » (citĂ© de l'EspĂ©rance). After nomadism came to an end, the community had to adapt to life in concrete houses. However, after just a couple of years, the first diseases started to appear/break out.
The « City of Hope » was built just underneath the high voltage lines of a power plant. Cancer proliferates as much as social and economic misery. Michel Soules, 52, the only Roma mayor in France, was elected with 80 % of the vote, including those of the Roma community. His goal is to destroy the « City of Hope », but because of conservatism and attachment to the place, the residents do not share his goal. Meanwhile, the authorities are turning a blind eye to his project.
The electricity company, EDF, engages in systematic obstruction in order to block legal proceedings, despite numerous experts? reports on the matter. 
My work documents the daily lives of these families, that I came to share as days went by.