I ♥ My Alleyway
The alleys of the residential areas of Montreal are generally not thought of as integral parts of the city. They have no name, no address, do not include public places and are not designed to be used to go anywhere: bumps ensure that the only vehicles entering it are those of the residents, and zigzags they impose on pedestrians make these alleys rarely used as the best route.
These back-streets are semi-public spaces originally with utilitarian purposes and still serve today as a backdoor entrance to the shops and restaurants, or a place to store their garbage. They are not intended to be seen, and therefore have often been neglected, forging their historical image of repulsive and dangerous areas.
Yet they can be, for the surrounding’s inhabitants, a space to develop, trying to balance the available space between car parks and gardens. They can then become a haven away from the buzz of the city, wild when an urban nature starts spreading freely, or cosy when they’re transformed into small cocoons. These intimate places are out of sight of passersby on the street, but a glimpse of some of them can be caught by those who pass through the semi-private or semi-public space of the alley.
Acknowledging these characteristics, this photographic project seeks to reveal fragments of the ill-defined places forming this odd environment.