Public bench, private pain.
Bangkok, where one is never alone, can be the loneliest place in the world.
THAILAND // 2016
A European success story.
A ‘Légion étrangère’, a former soldier of the Foreign legion, who fought in the Balkans, is back home in Strasbourg and lives on the streets. Damaged and without government support, his life has been a classy affair since he risked his life for kin and country.
And his handmade tattoos tell his story – a simple biro served as machine, the ink was made from the burnt rubber from the sole of a shoe.Some time ago he used a bottle of sky (French slang for whisky) and a lit cigar to erase the tattoos which reminded him of a war that turned out to be ugly and a woman no longer there. He has three dots inside a triangle inked between his eyes. It’s a mark of French street culture and means ‘Mort aux vaches’, which translates as ‘Kill the Pigs’.
In the daytime, the legionnaire drinks and begs in front of a church which does nothing for his welfare. At night he sleeps rough in the woods.
He wants to die in Strasbourg to be buried next to his family.
FRANCE // AUGUST 2016