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Photographer Patrick Artinian is following the French presidential election campaign trail for Mediapart, with a series of photo and video reportages of the candidates, their supporters, meetings and the milestone events. Here he follows Socialist Party candidate François Hollande on a day-long tour of socially-deprived suburban areas, or banlieues, close to Paris, the scenes of major riots seven years ago, where the turnout for elections is traditionally low. The often disenfranchised population of these neighbourhoods, composed of a comparatively high proportion of North and West African immigrant families, and first- or second-generation French, suffer from an unemployment rate often above twice the national average. At one meeting he exhorted a cheering crowd: “Don’t let others decide in your place, come and vote.” Referring to the stigmatization of ethnic and religious groups during the campaign by both the mainstream Right and Far Right, he said: “When I see you, when I look at you, I don’t guess at your religion by your face. I will not let France’s children be humiliated.”
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