Nighttime Revelers in Paris Get Shushed By a Bunch of Silent Clowns
Geege Schuman stashed this in Paris
Given their official associations, some have seen the Pierrots as quasi-official enforcers, killjoys and even "false pacifists" according to one interviewee in Le Monde. The group claim, however, that their interventions are not about stopping people going out at all, but preventing yet more bars being shut down by the city due to noise complaints.
Perhaps we’ve been getting this nighttime noise thing all wrong. Cities don’t need more police on the streets or tougher licensing laws to keep nightlife manageable. What they really need is a bunch of silent clowns to hush people with their fingers as they creep by on stilts. This is the approach being tried by Paris' Pierrots de la Nuits, at least.
Patrolling the city since March last year, this group of mute, sad-faced, black and white-clad mediators stalk the city’s busy bar strips on weekend nights, gently encouraging people to drink, smoke and chat at a lower volume. Usually never uttering a word (though followed by leaflet-distributing "mediatisers"), the Pierrots work under a slogan not easy to translate snappily: "Create atmosphere without turning up the volume." Their leader explained their intentions to Le Bonbon Nuit magazine thus:
We want to offer a moment of poetry, of dreaming…many emotions happen, at times even people come to cry in our arms. The only condition is that our artists are silent: mimes, actors, breathers of poetry, circus artists or stilt-walkers.