Encouraged by her friend and mentor Henri-Cartier Bresson to go onto the streets of Paris and take pictures, Stafford discovered both Boulogne-Billancourt , site of the Renault car factory and the overcrowded slum Cite Lesage-Bullourde, near the Bastille.
A maze of blind alleys and passages, this over crowded slum, built around 1864, for many years had housed a mixture of small craft workshops and households in unsanitary and cramped conditions. Many of its inhabitants were immigrants.
The Cite Lesage-Bullourde was demolished in 1984 to make way for the new Paris Opera – Bastille and expensive modern apartment blocks. A small “passage” bearing its name and some modern buildings are all that remain.