Search
Close this search box.

Christer Stromholm: ‘Les Nuits de Place Blanche’ – Celebrating Life of Transsexuals in Paris in 50’s & 60’s

Christer Strömholm, also known by the pseudonym Christer Christian, was a Swedish photographer and educator. He is known for his intimate black and white street photography portrait series, particularly his portraits of transgender women in Paris.

France – 

Christer Strömholm (Stockholm, Sweden, 1918–2001) is one of the most important European photographers of the twentieth century. He spent most of his life in Sweden, but he made France, and especially Paris, his second home. His series about the transsexuals of the Place Blanche was produced between 1958 and 1968. In the first edition of the book Les amies de Place Blanche (Vännerna från Place Blanche), published by ETC/ Johan Ehrenberg in Stockholm in 1983, Strömholm says:

“These are images from another time. A time when de Gaulle was president and France was at war against Algeria. These are images of people whose lives I shared and whom I think I understood.These are images of women –biologically born as men– that we call ‘transsexuals.’As for me, I call them ‘my friends of Place Blanche.’ This friendship started here, in the early 60s, and still continues.”


stromholm_7

                                          Images © Christer Strömholm Estate, Stockholm.


Photography and Published by RM Editorial, Les Nuits de Place Blanche
 immerses the reader in Parisian nightlife of the 50s and 60s, more specifically in the transsexual community in the neighborhood near Pigalle Square. Christer Strömholm, considered the father of Swedish contemporary photography, portrayed the characters in an intimate and exuberant way, either in the street or in the hotel rooms they were living. According to the photographer, this work is about one’s freedom to choose one’s own life and identity. Over the time, those images have become poignant reminders of human frailties and strengths. The series exudes fragility and beauty and symbolizes what working with photography means to Strömholm: the opportunity to deepen into big questions of life, such as love, death and human loneliness.

Related Posts

Douglas Stockdale on Hiroshi Watanabe “The Day the Dam Collapses”

Japan –  First I need to declare that I may be a tad bit biased in my photobook review as …

Daisuke Yokota Corpus

Daisuke Yokota: “Corpus” – Fictitious Mix of Nudity and Reality

Japan –  Photography feature –  Daisuke Yokota was selected for the first OUTSET UNSEEN AWARD in 2013, and his first …

Andrea Botto: “19.06_26.08.1945”

Italy –  “This book was produced in memory of the return journey my grandfather made from the Nazi prisoner-of-war camps …

FotoBookFestival 2014: Photobook Dummy Award Announced

Germany –  Final jury for the FotoBookFestival 2014 Dummy Award were: Deanne Templeton, Cristina de Middel, Todd Hido, Carlos Spottorno, …

Daisuke Yokota: Vertigo

Japan –   In 2011, his self published artist book “Back Yard” had great feedback and dramatic diffusion. Start by …

Colin Pantall on Christoph Bangert “War Porn”

Germany – During the Spanish war with Napoleonic France, Francisco Goya made The Disasters of War. In three series of …

Oscar Monzon: KARMA

Spain –  In Karma, a project developed in Madrid between 2009 and 2013, Óscar Monzón focuses on the car as a …

Natan Dvir Comin Soon

Natan Dvir: “Comin Soon” – New Yorkers and their Colossal Advertisements

USA –  ‘Coming Soon’ by Israeli photographer, Natan Dvir, is an exploration of our visual relationship with the branded city …

Poulomi Basu: “A Ritual of Exile” – Exposing Women Condition in Nepal

Nepal –  “It’s dark, and there is no light. I feel so scared someone might come.” Radha is only 16 …