FOCUS © FRANCE 24
On June 27, 17-year-old Nahel was killed by a police officer. The incident sparked riots across France. The urban violence lasted almost a week and was the worst the country had seen in nearly twenty years. Nanterre, the Paris suburb where Nahel was from and where he was killed, was the epicentre. Northwest of Paris, it was already well-known for being a deprived neighbourhood. During the riots it became associated with images of smashed windows, burnt-out cars, and youths throwing fireworks at the police. But there’s a lot more to Nanterre than that. The town’s inhabitants found a strong community spirit, pride in Nanterre’s notorious tower blocks and a deep desire not to be known as a downtrodden place to live. FRANCE 24’s Claire Paccalin and David Gilberg report.