For this project, Alyssa and I chose Place de la Concorde as a space we want to show in two different perspectives/senses. Nowadays this plaza is a very beautiful place that all tourists have on their list to visit in Paris; however, hundreds of years ago this space was the plaza of sacrifice and death.
For our final outcome of the project, we want to demonstrate the images in two different perspectives by editing them into a certain time: 1 image being how it nowadays (beautiful, peaceful, free) and the 2nd image giving a feeling of how it was years ago (dark, deadly, scary).
Place de La Concorde – a must-visit location in Paris in the 21st century; filled with historical monuments that are admired by hundreds of tourists and Parisian citizens. A place filled with indescribable emotions, leaving a certain trace in one’s mind. The trace of memory left behind depends on whether the place’s historical context is known or unknown. Consequently, the sense of space and the formed emotions at the Plaza differentiate. A current-day quiet and peaceful plaza, once a daily spot of massacre.
She is the most important person in her life – no, was. He was tidying up her room and came across an antique box which he had always seen on her desk. He never knew what was inside, but I suppose he will now. There were scraps of diary pages clipped onto an aged photograph. He couldn’t recognize where the photograph was taken but as he observed it more closely, he realized that it was the Place de la Concorde. Taking the photograph and the pages with him, he set about to the plaza.
It was his first time at Place de la Concorde – well, no. He had actually come across this plaza several times, he just never took notice of it. Now that he is here, he began to observe the plaza: the ambiance, the architecture, the vehicles, the people. The atmosphere was soothing and tranquil despite the fact that vehicles and people were roaming in and out of the plaza persistently. His mind was in composure as he embraced himself into the surroundings. He took out the photograph from his pocket and tried to figure out the exact location where the shot was taken. He wandered the plaza with appease, finally arriving at the very spot.
Calmly, he began to unfold the pages which were clipped onto the photograph and began to read:
Suddenly, a cold shiver ran through his veins.
“If you are reading this then you must have found the letter. Forgive me for not giving it to you in person, but I couldn’t face a child while sharing such sorrowful memories…”
A feeling of discomfort and grief overcame all the other thoughts that were present in his mind. He paused for a minute and his body went numb as he continued to focus more on every written word on the page:
“I can’t possibly forget those days. It was too much of a sight to bear. I have always told you tales of when I was still a young teenager, all the enthralling adventures. However, life wasn’t just always full of wonderful adventures. The picture you found, is how the Place de la Concorde looked like when I was younger. Several executions took place while the crowd watched their nation being slaughtered right in front of their eyes. My dear, I thank god that you were born so many years later that you didn’t have to witness these tragic events…”
She shared every single detail she could remember that was associated with the Plaza. With tears in his eyes; he stopped reading.
He would never have expected such petrifying history in such a peaceful place. His thoughts were scattered all over the place as he tried to unpuzzle them. Within a moment, the tranquility in his body was drifted away by the agitated paragraphs in the letter. Perturbed and alarmed, his heartbeat increased as ceaseless emotions swamped through his body…