The Louvre-Lens museum: elitist imposition or economic catalyst?

Louvre-Lens-night

This article is part of a series I wrote between the presidential and legislative elections in France.

When French postman Philippe Abrams pretended to be disabled in order to secure a work transfer to the Mediterranean coast, he was found out and sent as punishment to the town of Bergues in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, where it rains a lot and the people are supposedly almost primitive. Continue reading The Louvre-Lens museum: elitist imposition or economic catalyst?

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Can Macron bring back the extremes?

Macron supporters' group in Lens

This article is part of a series I wrote between the presidential and legislative elections in France.

It was the defining moment of the campaign. Marine Le Pen had set up Emmanuel Macron, but the soon-to-be president got his own back. Macron was talking to union representatives from a tumble-dryer factory threatened with closure in Amiens, in the north-east of France. Le Pen visited workers on the picket line and told them Macron was showing “contempt” by failing to visit them. Continue reading Can Macron bring back the extremes?

The hole in the centre ground: how France’s north-east coalfields turned to the populists

old cinema in Lens

This article is part of a series I wrote between the presidential and legislative elections in France.

When you arrive by train into the town of Lens and leave the station, opposite you stands the shell of the old Apollo Cinema (above). It opened in 1932 and in its time it hosted a whole host of contemporary stars such as Yves Montand, Coluche and Josephine Baker. It closed its doors on the 31 December 2000, but remains a dirty reminder of times gone by. Continue reading The hole in the centre ground: how France’s north-east coalfields turned to the populists