The catacombs in Paris are a vast network of underground tunnels that were filled with the remains of more than 6 million people during the 18th century after cave-ins and overflowing cemeteries became a problem in the area. The ossuaries are only a small portion of a much larger network of galleries built as part of ancient limestone and gypsum quarries.
The catacombs can be visited legally through the Denfert-Rochereau entrance, where visitors can access 1,7km of tunnels and ossuaries. This section is estimated to be only 0,5% of the total surface of underground networks.
The atmosphere down there is quite eerie, but not as oppressive as I thought it’d be. On the plus side, the temperature stays the same all year round at 14°C so it’s pretty relaxing in summer ;-)
Soul Power is a documentary on the Zaire 74 Music Festival in Kinshasa, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), which accompanied the Rumble in the Jungle Heavyweight Boxing Championship between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. This is a line up made in heaven!
Tabu Ley Rochereau
Celia Cruz & the Fania All Stars
One of my favorite moments captured in this documentary is at 58:46, a beautiful moment of exchange between African and African American dancers. Music and dance are vital to our existence. Our music and dances thrive on reciprocation throughout the continent and the Diaspora.
Zaïre 74 was a three day live music festival that took place on September 22 to 24, 1974 at the 20th of May Stadium in Kinshasa,
(now Democratic Republic of the Congo). The concert, conceived by South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela and record producer Stewart Levine, was meant to be a major promotional event for the heavyweight boxing championship match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, known as The Rumble in the Jungle. When an injury forced Foreman to postpone the fight by six weeks, the festival’s intended audience of international tourists was all but eliminated and Levine had to decide whether or not to cancel the event. The decision was made to move forward, and 80,000 people attended.
In addition to promoting the Ali-Foreman fight, the Zaire 74 event was intended to present and promote racial and cultural solidarity between African American, Afro-Latinx and African people. Thirty one performing groups, 17 from Zaire and 14 from overseas, performed. Featured performers included top R&B and soul artists from the United States such as James Brown, Bill Withers, B.B. King, and The Spinners as well as prominent African performers such as Miriam Makeba, TPOK Jazz, and Tabu Ley Rochereau. Other performers included Celia Cruz and the Fania All-Stars. source
A documentary about the Zaire 74 festival, entitled Soul Power, was released in 2009. The film was directed by Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, who served as the editor on the 1996 documentary When We Were Kings.
I was happy with my yellow metro sign because it had the added bonus of being at Denfert Rochereau, the metro stop for the catacombs in Danger by Design.
I could not get closer to Hotel de Ville than this, as you can tell by the guard who my mother got a picture because she thought he was hot. (On a side note, I discovered Hotel de Ville is not a hotel, but rather it is City Hall!)