30 May 2019 — Novara Media
Two things are clear when entering France’s infamous Zone to Defend, or Zad: this is a reclaimed space and a divided territory.
The handmade cabins, the welcome messages scribbled over road signs and the empty tear gas canisters littering the fields show how these 4,000 acres have been salvaged from the states’ plans to turn them into an airport. Under this central struggle another one lurks. The defaced map of the zone and the spray-painted message ‘Zad for Sale’ on the lighthouse, show how the end of the airport project has divided the Zad’s inhabitants. When I asked a long-term inhabitant, he described this as the latest feature of the zone’s ongoing “civil war”.