PROJECTS: LAURENT & KAKO
Laurent & Kako
This is the story of 24 hours with a very special man and his dog - Laurent and Kako. Their home is a small space in the Saint Germain area of Paris, on the road in-between posh restaurant tables and parked motorbikes, which Laurent uses as his table and bed. But all of Paris is their home as they wander around together, on their daily walks, finding items others have left or lost, washing, eating, meeting friends, drinking beer and smoking. Laurent is a very intelligent man, has many friends and has lived on the street for 18 years. But his life is constrained by alcohol and drugs. His best friend and protector is Kako - a pure-bred Canadian Husky. He says he likes the freedom of the street, but that life is very hard. He took me for a long walk around Paris with Kako and showed me his favourite places such as La Gare du Nord and The Museum of Modern Arts. I took him to dinner. He was the best tour guide I could have dreamt of. Kind, warm, gentle, and with an astounding knowledge of Paris, its monuments, its history and its art. He opened up to me and I to him. Late into the night, Laurent said we needed to go somewhere to collect something important. So we walked in the darkness and took the metro, jumping turnstiles without tickets, to the outskirts of the city where Laurent lead me through a dodgy area to what looked like a vending machine on the pavement. He retrieved a packet of something that I later realised was needles. And I felt sad and sorry that life was such a battle for him. It was 24 hours I will never forget.