With the COVID-19 disease reaching France, we underwent a social distancing lock down from March to May 2020. During this time, Montmartre transformed from a bustling tourist centre to being virtually empty (on 16 March 2020). The bistros and cafes closed down, tourists stopped visiting. Even the locals stayed at home, leaving only to look for food or for their daily run (with a signed declaration). On 11 May 2020, the lock down ended and people slowly started coming back.

Throughout the crisis, people held onto hope. Single people were never alone, couples and families stayed together. With the parks shut in Paris, people found a way to be reunited, on the streets, on the stairs, wherever they could. Hope never dies.

Photographer’s note: a lot of these photos have a lot more space than my other photos, mainly due to the lack of people in the frame. The emptiness of Montmartre during COVID-19 lockdown is especially evident in the middle set of photos.

Montmartre, Paris, France, March – May, 2020.