Made by Denis Dailleux from 1987 onwards, this series of black and white portraits - now published for the first time - started with an encounter on the train:
"That's when returning from my village where, during the summer, I had photographed the inhabitants and my great aunt Juliette, that I met boys from "The Village", the housing estate of Persan. There was about ten of them, coming back from a few days of holidays at the Sables-d'Olonne. They meandered from one wagon to the other with a radio cassette player broadcasting rap music with no one calling them out. I showed them some images of Juliette and I remember that when they saw them they said 'classy!'. It's at that very moment that I asked them if they were okay with me meeting them in their housing estate. Coco was the one to give me his phone number. At the time, no one really talked about the issues in the projects, but I did feel a little worried when, at the beginning of Fall 1987, I finally decided to call Coco. He asked me to meet the following Sunday at the Persan-Beaumont train station. Soon, I realized that I was onto something. Like a photographic revelation that came with the children letting go in front of my camera."
Denis Dailleux's immersion in Persan, a munnicipality in Val d'Oise (France), lasted five years. The long posing sessions with the neighborhood's youngsters would surely not be possible today on that territory where the situation is already tensed.
Thus, the intemporal power of Denis Dailleux's photographs, combined with Abdellah Taïa's engaged text - with whom he returned to Persan-Beaumont 30 years later - make this book an important publication on the delicate topic that is the suburbs.