LA BOUM
Illegal Home Parties During the Curfew Due to Pandemic.

“La Boum” in French, refers to house parties, shy dances and teenagers. However, the people who are the subject of this photography project are people between the ages of twenty and forty. They take all the risks to have a party, break the prohibitions and chase the fun.

In Marseille, where I came to continue my masters degree in September 2020, restrictions began a few weeks after my arrival due to the second wave of the pandemic across France. The curfews, the re-closure of cafes and bars and the prohibition of more than six people coming together made the young population extremely alarmed and the measures caused a serious panic amongst them. The traumas experienced in the first wave re-emerged at a moment when everything was thought to go back to normal. As a consequence of the traumatic first wave, people started looking for a way to continue their life as 'normal' as possible. After the announcement of the news that the restrictions would be reinstated, it became clear that applying those restrictions would not be as easy as the first time. People began to make plans on how to circumvent the pandemic bans.

As soon as rumours about a new curfew spreaded, people started looking for ways to get from one house to another during the curfew.They wanted to continue all the things that were normal and legal not too long ago. For example, a midwife was planning to make fake pregnancy certificates for her friends so they could organise a party at home. It would allow them to come to her house without any problem during the curfew.
Some created fake employment documents or hospital reports to be able to attend house parties. Others took the risk of being fined if they got caught by the police. When leaving the house they looked around and made sure that there was no police around and passed silently through dark streets. They secretly entered the party house and the party began!

At the parties, themes were predetermined, for example, the theme of one party was “glam” and another was “space”. One is a birthday, one was for the new year, and the other one was a farewell party for someone leaving Marseille. There are always excuses to party. Even when there was no reason, the meetings would start as a small “apero” or “boum” the news would soon spread from friend to friend and it turned into parties attended by dozens of people.

A party during covid times means breaking free from restrictions, forgetting the world around you, looking for intimate human contact. It means drugs and alcohol, sweaty bodies moving on the same rhythm. It means house DJ’s and ordering beer that gets delivered at your door. A party during these times means taking the risk of a police intervention or possibly getting sick. But mostly it means having a space to collectively explode disconnected from the outside world.
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