Now, in France, people can enjoy the seaside dream, even in the city. For the past decade, the number of urban beaches have been growing. Although Paris Plage is the most famous, there are in fact about fifty similar places that exist in France. And every year, new urban beaches are created.
Saint-Quentin was the fisrt one. For more than 20 years, the sea or rather the illusion of the sea has been invited into the heart of this city. Beach symbols, including palm trees, sand, beach huts, and water surround people. Only one element is missing : the sea.
So there, senses and borders become blurred. Welcome in these surrealistic places, where city congestion contrast with marine landscape and give you the feeling that you have a photomontage right before your eyes.
How do people imagine, act, and live out this balneal wish when they live far from the coast? How do urban beaches model the city and fit into the urban landscape? How do people play as if at the beach, but without the sea? How these places are distorted, lived by the beach attendant?
This pictures try to answer to this questions. And with soft colors, i try to show all the out of the ordinary, the beauty, and the poesy of these places, where Emmanuelle Lallemand, the French ethnologue, said, “People are collectively invited to play to a spin, which consists to play to the beach without the sea.”