In a small french town, Eguilles, there is a small brownpub that has been there for generations.The population of the village is very clearly split : people from a richer background and people who come from a more working class. Despite the efforts of many to open cosy caffes and restaurant, people don't spend a lot of time in the village. However, there is one meeting point in town : le bar (doesn't have a specific name, we just call it « le bar »). This bar opened for more than 50 years ago and has be ran by the same family ever since.
A few years ago I started working at the bar as a « cleaning lady », and quickly started to be very intrigued by the guests. The owners are a very big part of the village, they seem to know everyone and yet have no strong connections to anyone. The son of the owner recently took over but it's not uncommon to see the dad, who's almost 80, lurcking around to see how things are going. Father and son have a strong bond but argue a lot. The son is a heavy worker, he opens everyday around 6 and never leaves before 9 in the evening.
On the other side of the counter, there are the guests. A very specific crowd : middle aged ans old men , working class, that have been getting together in the place almost every day over the past years. Th only time they mention their wives is when they have to leave, as a convenient excuse. Sometimes, a few women show up, but never stay long.
I became curious about their interests and soon found out that it was mostly drinking, horse race bets and endless conversations about daily struggles. But they also had strong opinions about various subjects such as society, environment and politics.
Through this photographic project I wanted to capture the guests ; the invisibles, the ones who are ignored but not unknown. Indeed, if these people are being left out by the younger generations and the more « privileged class », they are not being unseen and it wouldn't go unnoticed it they weren't there anymore. They are a part of the daily landscape, we pass them, hear them laugh but very rarely interact with them.
To me, this one small bar, in the south of France, is a small glimps into to the society that will live in. A society where there is a division of social classes, a society run by a clear order that is not to be disturbed..