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Is it Safe?

Naa Oyo A. Kwate
Artists' Books
15 × 20 cm
106 pp
Photography, Environment

Is it Safe?, by interdisciplinary scholar Naa Oyo A. Kwate, interrogates ideas about race, perceived safety, and urban landscapes. Marseille, France has a reputation of danger and disorder, in large part due to its Black and Brown population. It is rarely seen as the “real France” embodied in cultural images of baguettes and wine or in the quaint village lanes of Provence, where Marseille is located. Tersely dismissed not only as a vacation destination, but also as a tenable choice for those relocating to France, Marseille is saddled with a persistent, one-note caricature. In Is It Safe? Kwate juxtaposes her own photography of Marseille’s streets against the anxious discourse of travelers seeking information from online forums about the city’s risks and rewards. For those venturing to the city for the first time, the tenor of the inquiries coheres around a single paranoid fear: “Is Marseille dangerous?”

Self-published by the author in an edition of 100. Designed by Kudos Design Collaboratory, New York City, and printed and bound by Sea Group Graphics, Huntington Valley, PA.

  1. Is it Safe?

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