My name is Lasse, I’m 22 and a photographer.
In February I went to Marseille for a photography workshop. Before I went I had heard a lot of bad things about the city and that it could be rough. When I got there I thought it did have a strange feeling, but I didn’t see the bad things, people were kind and living their own life. While I was there I went skating and took photos of skaters and perma-tanned men at the beach.
On Saturday evening we showed our projects and then I went to hang with some skaters. Later on we went to a really tacky nightclub in the worst part of the city by the harbour. I met some girl there and walked her home, then deciding to walk around her neighbourhood which was downtown and sort of like a market place. These two guys were running toward me and as the last one past me I took a photo of him. e instantly walked up to me talking French and grabbed my camera. I told him I would delete the picture but he kept on being really aggressive, pulling the camera.
The next thing I remember I was walking around the city. I didn’t know that I had been assaulted. I just woke up and didn’t know where I was. I tried to call my friend at the flat but he was sleeping so he didn’t answer so I asked some guy in a car to point me in the right direction and I walked home. I went home and slept for three hours.
When I woke up to take a piss my face felt sore and I could tell it was swollen but I couldn’t combine the signals, maybe I was still in shock. There was nothing in me that said I had been assaulted.
Before my flight home on Sunday evening we went to the hospital and got a police report. But it was weird going through the passport control because I wasn’t sure they would be able to recognise me because I was so swollen. The guy checking the passport laughed a bit. I can’t remember who hit me or how many they were. They took my camera, and my cap was gone as well, but they didn’t take my money, wallet or phone. They weren’t trying to rob me, he just got pissed because I took a picture that I thought would look neat. Then he beat me up and that sucks. But if you want to be a photographer you can’t be scared of getting beat up, it’s not something you can control. If the photo is right in front of you just have to do what’s natural.
But it’s risky. You’re a witness, and if someone has a problem with that it’s shit.