Is this the death of Dénoyez?

The rue Dénoyez can be found just up from the buzzing Belleville metro in Paris’ 20th arrondissement. But it might not be there much longer, because the famous street-of-street-art is being threatened by a redevelopment plan…

photo by Akuppa John Wigham

If you haven’t been down the rue Dénoyez, do so as soon as you can. The entire street is covered in works of art from many different genres, although primarily graffiti. The nature of street art is ephemeral –  which means the facades are in constant evolution, pieces covered by new ones, artists expressing themselves day and night with posters, aerosols and paint.

An uncertain future

But there’s been an ongoing debate that it seems the artists have just lost. For a while now, the Mayor of the district has been under pressure to build more social housing and a creche, and it looks like the rue Dénoyez, with its colourful artist squats, is the only option. Hélène Vicq, the Mayor’s adjunct explained

“Initially, the daycare center was supposed to be installed at 36 Rue de Belleville, but the local residents mobilized in opposition,” she told Street Press. “This is the only suitable parcel left in the arrondissement, so we don’t really have a choice.” 

The street may only be roughly 100 metres long, but has become a tourist attraction in itself: a sort of performance/open air gallery. But with the new development set to go ahead, the artists will have to move on. They’ve been promised “some” space on the walls, but it is more probable that they will be relocated. And, in a city as expensive as Paris, it’s likely they’ll be pushed out to the suburbs.

Whose fault is this?

I walk past the rue Dénoyez every Thursday on my way to Paris Lit Up‘s open mic, and it’ll be a great shame the day the diggers come. But I also understand about the pressure to provide affordable housing, and the lack of space in the city giving the Mayor few options. The artists have also been accused of not being reactionary enough, letting this decision be made, and not putting up a fight until it was too late.

So, the conclusion of this piece is: go to Délanoyez before it gets bulldozed. And, while  you’re there, pop and and say hello to us on Thursday nights at Culture Rapide 😉

photo by Akuppa John Wigham

This entry was posted in 75020, contemporary art, Culture, graffiti,, Paris, street scene. Bookmark the permalink.

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