We’re very excited to welcome Clemens Habicht to the Guest Blog for Expat Week! Clemens is an illustrator / designer / commercial and video director who lives in Paris, and we are thrilled with the series he has created for us this week. Each day Clemens has formed a face using an old anonymous photo, and has a tale to accompany each. Thank you Clemens, we love your work! – Jenny

Ski 1954 – collage illustration by Clemens Habicht (love the Gendarme’s serious expression!)

The Gendarme, and Firemen, and in general all the men in French public services like that have robust features that reflect their line of work. To me they tend to look a little overdrawn, like a caricature by Albert Uderzo. They are also so large, in stature and features. But when I’ve had dealings with them they have a shared joke always amongst themselves, and are open to the humour of any situation. I once saw a mountain bike cop do skids in Gare du Nord, like he was an eleven year old boy.

And they are so kitted up in uniforms, big jack boots, even the giant men on roller blades (yep police on roller blades) seem intimidating in a Robo Cop way.

Their expressions make you take what might otherwise feel like a dress up uniform (or in the case of the Gendarme, that familiar uniform that you grew up with on ‘Allo ‘Allo!) Seriously, they definitely do.