“Almost fifteen years ago, I started taking pictures of Marseilles...”


The project

Marseille is a book of photographs taken between the end of the 1990s and 2012. A purposely-fragmented portrait of a Mediterranean capital undergoing important urban changes.


Dotted with relics of The Industrial Age – the harbour, viaducts, and housing estates – Marseilles presents a chaotic cityscape surrounded by limestone massifs falling into the sea. The landscape is mineral, the concrete coarse and the plants – which dot the white rocks – ruggedly alive. Human figures flow through: nameless passers-by, nomadic geographies, towards what future?


Many times reconstructed, from rebirth to revival, Marseilles is on the cusp of changing again in the coming years. Yet it remains a horizontal city, to be understood from ground level: from the streets that hold its life, lying flat between the hills that frame it. A fishing village under the sun, stretching away as far as the eye can see.













I started taking pictures of Marseilles almost fifteen years ago, propelled by a fascination for the diverse layers of time, nature and architecture that comprise the city. Over time, I came to experience Marseilles no longer as a photographic subject, but rather as an object of contemplation, a cityscape to take in as one would take in the paths traversing a mountain landscape.


The book as a form is something I feel very strongly about as it can be used to present sequences, build narratives, and give images their place within a continuum.


Marseille is my first photography book, and this project is in collaboration with graphic designer Florine Synoradzki. Together we have sought to give every shot its own specific place and thereby suggest the outline of a walk through the city, enabling the reader to experience the realities of Marseilles’s unique spaces.   



Marseilles is European Capital of Culture for 2013

We hope to take part in this celebration. In order to have our book in Marseilles’s bookshops this summer and at the International Photography Festival in Arles, we aim to publish the book before July. Your contributions can help give this project a greater reach and offer a different but unique perspective of this legendary city.







Pages from Marseille:


































Why fund it?


This funding would cover the pictures' digitalisation and the book’s printing.

The book’s layout is just about complete. Marseille will be printed in the last days of June and will first be made available in bookshops in Marseilles, Arles and Paris. It will then be more widely distributed in France and abroad. 



128 pages

Four-colour printing

Print run: 500 copies



– High definition scanner (rental) 200 € 

– Photoengraving 500 €

– Printing 5.300 €


In total, 6.000 € in funding is required to complete this project


We hope that with your help we will match and exceed our 3.800 € target.


This would enable us to publish Marseille before July so that it will be available in bookshops in Marseilles as well as at the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie d’Arles this summer.

Thank you!

F & S

Sylvain Maestraggi is a French photographer and filmmaker born in Marseilles in 1974. His work focuses mainly on street photography and landscape. He has directed “Histoires nées de la solitude” (“Stories Born out of Solitude”), a journey through Marseilles and Berlin guided by reflections of Walter Benjamin on the city. Florine Synoradzki is a French... See more

Newest comments

Bonjour à tous ! MARSEILLE - FRAGMENTS D'UNE VILLE est imprimé et maintenant disponible – aux éditions L'Astrée rugueuse – dans les librairies de Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Martigues… quelques librairies parisiennes (Le 29 et Le Bal Books) et quelques librairies étrangères (Londres, Milan, Cologne, Bruxelles). Grâce à votre participation nous avons pu relever le défi d'être présents cet été à Marseille et à Arles. Une signature du livre a eu lieu le 4 juillet dans le cadre des Rencontres d'Arles. Nous venons à peine de rentrer à Paris et nous allons pouvoir bientôt vous envoyer vos contreparties ! Encore merci pour votre chaleureux soutien. Plus d'infos bientôt par mail. Bel été à vous, Sylvain
Salut Érika ! Plus que deux jours avant la fin de la collecte… qui nous réserve peut-être encore des surprises ?
Salut cousin, comme on dit, "mieux vaut tard que jamais" ! biz rik