My OBT

What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

Place Pigalle, 1960

9 Comments

Carla & Zizou, Brasserie Graff, 1963 © C.Strömholm/ Agence VU

Carla & Zizou, Brasserie Graff, 1963 © C.Strömholm/ Agence VU

Happy Gay Pride Week, everyone! Not even the fact that today is Monday can spoil my good mood.

From 1956-1964, Swedish photographer Christer Strömholm lived in Paris’s notorious red-light district, Place Pigalle. Famous for its prostitutes and peep shows and strip clubs, the neighborhood’s Place Blanche was also home to a tight-knit community of transexuals who had come from all over Europe to form a chosen family to replace the families who had rejected them. Strömholm became their friend and, with his camera, their biographer as well.

In 1983, he published a book of his photos from that era called “Les Amies de Place Blanche.” The introduction to the book was as moving as the images therein:

“This is a book about insecurity. A portrayal of those living a different life in the big city of Paris, of people who endured the roughness of the streets. . . This is a book about the quest for self-identity, about the right to live, about the right to own and control one’s own body.”

The book was republished in 2012, 10 years after Strömholm’s death. Two of his subjects with whom he was closest, Nana and Jacky, both wrote something for the book.

© C.Strömholm/ Agence VU

Belinda, 1967 © C.Strömholm/ Agence VU


© C.Strömholm/ Agence VU

Carmen, 1962 © C.Strömholm/ Agence VU


© C.Strömholm/ Agence VU

Jacky, 1962 © C.Strömholm/ Agence VU


© C.Strömholm/ Agence VU

Jacky & Nana, 1960 © C.Strömholm/ Agence VU


© C.Strömholm/ Agence VU

Nana, 1957 © C.Strömholm/ Agence VU


© C.Strömholm/ Agence VU

Nana, 1957 © C.Strömholm/ Agence VU


© C.Strömholm/ Agence VU

Nana & Jacky, 1961 © C.Strömholm/ Agence VU


© C.Strömholm/ Agence VU

Nana, 1959 © C.Strömholm/ Agence VU


© C.Strömholm/ Agence VU

Jacky, 1959 © C.Strömholm/ Agence VU


© C.Strömholm/ Agence VU

Nana, 1963 © C.Strömholm/ Agence VU


© C.Strömholm/ Agence VU

Cobra & Caprice, 1961 © C.Strömholm/ Agence VU


© C.Strömholm/ Agence VU

Nana, Jacky & Adèle Chanel, 1961© C.Strömholm/ Agence VU


© C.Strömholm/ Agence VU

Cobra, 1961 © C.Strömholm/ Agence VU


© C.Strömholm/ Agence VU

© C.Strömholm/ Agence VU

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

9 thoughts on “Place Pigalle, 1960

  1. These are strong photos of beautiful women. I especially like the group shot.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. There are some striking photos there.. The fact that they are done in black and white makes them even more so 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy Gay Pride Week back! Strip away the labels, and we’re all from the same big crazy family.

    Liked by 1 person

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