The members of the French Front National are eager to win elections by promising to suppress the minority, blaming it for all the problems in the country. But what’s the story behind all that?

Day 10 - 6.12.2014 - 9:00 - France -

Ham and Ask: Team Populism and Tien Tran having breakfast in Toulouse.

Day 6 - 2.12.2014 - 14:33 - France -

Choices of Voices in France: What would you change in Europe?

Day 6 - 2.12.2014 - 12:55 - France -

GenZapp Day 6: Inside a demonstration of populists in France

Day 5 - 1.12.2014 - 19:41 - France -

GenSep Report: In the shade of Front National? The French society in change

By Metin Gülmen 

The bells of the nearby church already ring, as a drizzle starts in Toulouse this morning. Tien Tran takes his chair in front of the bistro. „99 percent of my identity is French“, the Paris-born guy whose parents are of a Vietnamese descent says. He explains that he neither speaks the Vietnamese language nor knows the culture. However there are racist hostilitys against him because of his Asian look. He is an example for the fact that descendants of the immigrant generation are still called “strangers “. „Toulouse belongs to the most tolerant cities in France. It is an ideal place for a multicultural society“, says Tien who also lived in Marseille for a long time. In contrast to that there are many racists and legal populists in the southeast of France. This is because of the fact that the social differences are too big: „If you come from an immigrant family, you have it much harder. And the better breadwinners let you feel this clearly.“

Foto Tien01
Tien Tran

Front National as a side effect

Tien is a photographer and portrays people in different life situations: Sometimes there sits a married couple on the couch, sometimes the picture shows young jumping women. He is very proud on photos he has taken in South America and Africa. They show impressive parts of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, but also street children in Peru. He has seen and experienced poverty – and knows how difficult it is to be accepted in a society under this circumstances. „Most of my friends are tired of the constant consumption drunkenness. We always buy the newest iPhone, the newest computer, the newest clothes. Just to be better perceived. However, I believe, this time is going to end because the society in France changes.“ Traditional values as represented by Front National „have a fertile soil in our society. But only for a short time because these values have got lost to us by the consumption drunkenness.“ Thats how Tien explains the victory of Front National at the European Elections in May 2014 to himself. Nevertheless he does not think that Front National can have the political power permanently: „The FN is a temporary phenomenon which remains strong only for some years. People are afraid of the change and then seek shelter in old values. If one looks at the history, this has always been the case.“

„We must conclude this change!“ 

Fact is that many different cultures live together in France. „The best way to handle this, is to respect it. Front National thinks that one must stamp a “French” culture to all these people. However, this is impossible because every culture has it’s own variety“, thinks the artist and demands: „The French society has to understand what the different cultures can reach together. We must develop these values as a society, and do not allow to determine this from the politics. The only question for us in France is how we see ourselves mutually in France. And this is the challenge for our generation, not for the old people. We must conclude this change!“ If we do not succeed, Front National will gain furthermore victories: „Front National is able to mobilise it’s voters. Their opponents do not vote because they are disappointed of politics“, analyses Tien. If the identity change is concluded in France, according to Tien, there won’t be any more chances for populists in the new French society. Is there a „Generation Separation“ under this circumstances in Toulouse? „This generation is growing, but not as a separation movement, but as a generation of the fusion, which only leaves small space for the populist movements“, the experienced photographer predicts.

Day 4 - 30.11.2014 - 17:28 - France -

Editing at Toulouse Airport – again. About to fly to Copenhagen via Brussels #gensep #populism #france #toulouse #brussels #kopenhagen #waiting #editing

Editing at Toulouse Airport – again. About to fly to Copenhagen via Brussels #gensep #populism #france #toulouse #brussels #kopenhagen #waiting #editing via Instagram

Day 4 - 30.11.2014 - 0:10 - France -

One more thought: Mario Stauber in France

Day 3 - 29.11.2014 - 16:46 - France -

GenSep Report: Everyone votes for Airbus – except of the non-voters


“The Front National is so strong because their people go to the vote. Many people think in France: „Well, where is the democracy? They are not representing me.’ The big majority do not vote”, Stephanie suggested (33). The petite woman is a freelancer tour guide at the biggest European aircraft manufacturer Airbus. Nearly 20,000 employees are working for Airbus just in Toulouse a city in the south of France, throughout Europe there are over 60,000 people. The policy boasts the multinational corporation, in which France, Germany, Great Britain and Spain are involved. But there could be more countries to provide European integration, politicians say in the EU-headquarter in Brussels.



Airbus in Toulouse. Photo: Krings


Stephanie is certain: “Almost everyone here works for Airbus. I believe that no one can be against the company in Toulouse.” Nevertheless, Airbus CEO Tom Enders warned the employees in a circular letter about to giving right-wing populist parties like the Front National in the 2014 European elections her vote. “Our company is a special example of what can achieve european integration,” wrote the German top managers . “No one should believe that we have achieved this without european integration and the active political support of our national governments.” But finally the anti-EU Front National in Toulouse won the ballot. Maybe also because the FN chairman Marine Le Pen swore that she will support transnational cooperations and will emphasize Airbus’ name.




Plan of an Airbus-plane. Photo: Krings 

Stephanie knows: “The people here are not fascists. Every Saturday they protest against violence. But I know many people who do not wish to vote. After all, who actually decides which three presidential candidates must represent the people?” Le Pen is also one of those politicians who are untrustworthy, so Stephanie, because: “Marine Le Pen is a deputy at the European parliament. She takes the salary, although she is not all the time their. Politicians are all working with the lobbies and the financial system.” She does not believe that France would leave the EU anytime: “The media show only the worst people. The most of people are going to protest are pacifists. The FN here would play no role when the policy would be credible. Because then people would vote against them.”



Stephanie works as a tour-guide at the Airbus-manufactur. Photo: Krings



Day 3 - 29.11.2014 - 15:31 - France -

An amazing view of the #Airbus terrain in Toulouse! But what role plays the #FN here? #gensep #france #populism

Day 2 - 28.11.2014 - 18:29 - France -

No sleep ’till Toulouse #gensep #populism #plane #toulouse #france

No sleep ’till Toulouse #gensep #populism #plane #toulouse #france via Instagram