Posted by: Waheeda Harris | November 6, 2013

Sign of the times: Marseille

I got a healthy dose of Mediterranean culture when I visited Marseille in September. From the tasty cuisine to the local art scene, this city has gone through a renaissance, thanks to being chosen the European Capitol of Culture.

Marseille collage a

This city is a mix of cultures, a mix of the past and the contemporary but with a definite French accent. It’s a city that doesn’t seem self-conscious or worried about the future. It just is – showing off its new as much as showing off its traditions and its old and sometimes forgettable traits.

As I wandered the city’s neighbourhoods, from the Vieux Port to the Le Panier market, seeing the newly installed art and the endless graffiti, I loved that this city was in transformation, and curiously not emulating any other place.

Marseille collage b

As someone who lives in the multicultural city of Toronto, it was a true pleasure to see a city that is proud of its French heritage, and glad  to celebrate its connections to the Mediterranean community, the recent immigrants as well as with the new MuCEM, a museum dedicatd to the Mediterranean zone.

I renewed my commitment to taking photographs of people, not my strength, but in this city, so many people presented themselves as the perfect subject matter. An inspiring city that I hope I get to return to as soon as possible….


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