France • Born in 1955
According to the United Nations, two out of three people on planet earth will live in an urban area by 2050. The same experts predict that there will be 43 cities with more than 10 million inhabitants, vs 23 today, excluding the largest metropolitan areas. In Africa, four cities will pass this symbolic threshold to join the likes of Cairo, Kinshasa and Lagos.
Are cities the future of humanity? As we approach a global population of 10 billion, one of the solutions to adapt to increased urban density while preserving natural spaces is using verticality. But this solution gives rise to a plethora of problems: hygiene, pollution, employment, overpopulation, transport, urban planning, etc.
Today, cities have developed across the world: in the most and least hospitable landscapes for human life alike. Cairo, the largest urban area in Africa, is on the edge of a desert. Rinconada, in Peru, is home to 50,000 people living above 5,000m altitude - higher than Mont Blanc.
In his many travels, Pascal Maitre has visited these cities. An iconic photojournalist, in France and internationally, this genius of light and colour has always been able to capture the soul of the cities he explores during his assignments in the most isolated corners of the planet.
From massive “Kin” to mythical Kabul, from Agadez, city of migrants, to the Memphis of the Blues and Black American culture, from the sweltering heat of Mogadishu to the blizzards of Norilsk, his gaze transforms cities into characters of their own.
© Pascal Maitre