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Photographer Captures The Lives Of Transgender Parisians In 1950's Black-And-White Collection


Christer Strömholm, a Swedish photographer living in Paris in the late 1950's, befriended and photographed the transgender communities of the place Pigalle and place Blanche neighborhoods, providing us with a glimpse at life on the margins.  

Transparis2Buzzfeed reports:

A little-known Swedish photographer, Christer Strömholm, visited Paris to experiment with a new style of night-time street photography. He immersed himself in the red-light district of Place Blanche where he beautifully captured through his lens the wide variety of young trans women struggling to make a living.

In 1983, Strömholm published his book, Les Amies de Place Blanche, with the photographs from his visit.

Inside he wrote a powerful introduction:

“This is a book about insecurity. A portrayal of those living a different life in the big city of Paris, of people who endured the roughness of the streets.”

“This is a book about humiliation, about the smell of whores and night life in cafés.”

“This is a book about the quest for self-identity, about the right to live, about the right to own and control one’s own body.”


“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 it still continues.”

New attention has been brought to Strömholm's subjects as the photos have been released in a new version of the 1983 book, this time with stories and essays to accompany them.  

The complete collection of photographs can be found here.

Photos courtesy of Buzzfeed (Source:  © C.Strömholm/ Agence VU  /  via:

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  1. Totally NSFW

    Posted by: Jay M | Jul 20, 2013 4:33:25 PM

  2. Holy cannoli, the young lady listed as Nana is these photos is totally none other than effing Amanda Lear. How could this not have been a total revelation in 1983 is the million dollar question!

    Posted by: Tadpolicus Wex | Jul 20, 2013 4:49:25 PM

  3. This is amazing

    Posted by: James | Jul 20, 2013 5:12:48 PM

  4. Beautiful photography. And yes, quite possibly a photo of Amanda Lear or Peki d'Oslo or Alain Tapp.....such a mysterious past.
    Paris in the late fifties/early sixties.....the New Wave.

    Posted by: excy | Jul 20, 2013 5:35:56 PM

  5. He's not little known in Sweden tho. Seen several of his photo exhibitions, way back. Oh memories :')

    Posted by: calcifer | Jul 20, 2013 5:47:12 PM

  6. so great

    Posted by: gomez | Jul 20, 2013 7:12:09 PM

  7. Forgive me but how does one differentiate a transvestite from a transgender? Can't a man like to put on makeup and be prissy without being a woman trapped in a man's body?

    Posted by: Zeta | Jul 20, 2013 11:45:25 PM

  8. Riveting

    Posted by: Rob | Jul 21, 2013 9:25:57 AM

  9. stunning, stunning, stunning.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jul 21, 2013 1:11:25 PM

  10. My husband and I say Christer Strömholm's exhibit at the photo museum, Fotografiska, when we visited Stockholm last year. It really is a stunning exhibition.

    Posted by: Bret B | Jul 22, 2013 3:30:34 PM

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