Givet, in the French Ardennes. Outside the abandoned Cellatex factory. This was the starting point for the reportage, in the Ardennes region of north-east France, close to the border with Belgium. The region is one of the worst hit in France by industrial decline.
The Cellatex factory in the town of Givet produced viscose fibre. In 2000, after it was placed into receivership, the factory’s laid-off employees occupied the site, threatening to use the plant’s chemical stock to blow up the buildings and pollute the nearby river Meuse. The high-profile protest drew widespread media coverage and ended after an agreement for greater redundancy payments was reached.
A diagonal view of social misery in France