by Jacqueline Feldman
Today I helped to hang Christmas decorations at La Miroiterie, one of the squats I am closely following. It is the oldest squat in Paris.
I took photos of the Christmas lights and candles in an upstairs painters’ workshop.
Squatters are sure of staying at the former mirror factory in Ménilmontant only through the end of the so-called winter truce. They lost their case against the building’s lawful owner this fall, and the city should evict them in a few months. Some have packed their bags.
I recently met a distinguished former Fulbright scholar who lives in the Tenth Arrondissement, not far from La Miroiterie, and raved about concerts there, which attract old punks and young bobos alike. Josh Hudes, who is in a British band that has played at the squat, told me recently, “This is the real Paris! All the West of Paris is that Disneyland shit! Just rich people and Ferraris!”
The people who live at the squat generally don’t know where they will live in the spring.
Anne-Sophie, who lives at the squat, appreciatively surveyed the bulbs and ornaments she placed tonight. “C’est extrême, comme d’habitude,” she said. “It’s extreme, as usual.” Earlier, she threatened to hang mistletoe over the bar downstairs, “so all the punks make out with each other.” Finally, she regarded the room, and said, “It is still not enough for me.”
Elanor, a friend of the squat, said recently, “People leave La Miroiterie either going up or going down.”