What is the best thing that I love about my work? First, the freedom to share my world. Secondly, the possibility of reminding what it means to be human, the possibility of defending convictions, of shaking things up, of proposing other angles of view, of questioning, of juggling with words, of scratching the varnish, of going into blind spots, of maintaining utopia. Today, in the face of the tentacular presence of Artificial Intelligence, I put my energy into defending the artists who resist this new fashion, those who honor what makes us human as well as the artisans who resist mass production.
What is my idea of happiness? My idea of happiness comes from a Melanesian proverb: the canoe and the tree “Every man is torn between two needs, the need of the Pirogue, that is, of the journey, and the need of the Tree” that is to say, rootedness, identity, and men constantly wander between
these two needs, yielding sometimes to the one, sometimes to the other; In this proverb, there is what is matter to me: travel, my vision of nature and biodiversity and the allusion to the comfort of being at home. A perfect balance between the 2 which would result in “Feel at home everywhere and preferably with nature.” Travel to take flight but also to put down roots by taking part in what makes our society.
What is my greatest fear? According to me, until we go through our own hell, we never know who we are. I was afraid to live in poverty, I was afraid to get lost, I was afraid to be alone and isolated, I was afraid not to be loved properly, I was afraid never to succeed. So I did all my possible to not go through these trials, in vain. I went through everything I wanted to escape, my own hell and so my biggest fear is realizing that I have other hells to go through.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? My difficulty in making firm decisions because I spend too much time evaluating options and opportunities at the expense of actions or decisions.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? Leonora Miano, who is a well-known author. Formerly a homeless woman, she was successful as a writer. ” Writing cured me and allowed me to make beauty with what was complicated,” she said. I have read almost all of his books, which are sometimes harsh poetry revealing the dehumanization of the system and the world. And Philippe Gouget who hosted a television show called “trains unlike any other”. We discover unusual trains but also the history, culture and peoples of each country.
What is my greatest extravagance? I decided to go to Cuba on a whim. I had to stay there for 2 months maximum. After one month, a chance meeting allowed me to work in Havana as an assistant in a French travel agency for 6 months. In the end, I stayed there for 1 year. And also, the writing of my book.
On what occasion would I lie? I do not wish to live old. I would die the day when I would be sure to have gone around what I have to see in this world. Of course, we learn all the time, without any age limit, but I like the idea of there being an end and choosing my end. If my body is in harmony with my mind, my end will come naturally if I think I have learned everything I must learn or understand from this world.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? I don’t like how the writing profession has evolved. Today, from one article to another, we find the same reflections, the same topics, the same contents. The use of algorithms has reduced the field of ideas. Editors take fewer and fewer risks. So many agreed and consensual speeches. I think that this new way of writing contributes to standardize thought, to impoverish the richness of vocabulary, and to limit differences of opinion.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? As a writer and city dweller, I am much more productive and inspired when I am in an environment where nature is present. In Cape Verde, I loved sitting by the marina to write. Writing outside of my immediate and usual environment always makes me happy.
If I could, what would I change about myself? First my past. Secondly, i would like to feel less concerned by what surrounds me, to be sometimes less in the reflection and more in the lightness, the carelessness. A lot of what surrounds me makes me angry and critical. I would like to take more distance from reality.
What is my greatest achievement in work? The writing of my own book, even if it is not yet published, and even if it may never be published, I am very proud to have tried and to have gone to the end. It is a summary of my thoughts, my observations of the world and this through my travels.
Where would I most like to live? I have traveled extensively in India, Cuba, West and East Africa but I discovered Cape Verde some time ago. I love this multilingual country which is a crossroads between Europe and Africa. It is a land of crossbreeding where Cultural heritages are multifaceted. I love this country because here, you abandon the idea of controlling what is beyond you. There is a
sweetness of life rocked by nostalgia (thanks to the legacy of Cesaria Evora. and Cape Verdean music, very recently inscribed on UNESCO’s intangible heritage.) Cape Verde is a colorful and cheerful archipelago, everything, everywhere, whether people, streets, markets, houses.) The morabeza (The sweetness of life ) ” as the Cape Verdeans call it.
What is my most treasured possession? My books are my treasures, above all that the paper versions are likely to become increasingly rare.
What is my most marked characteristic? My idealism: my ability to act on my convictions, beliefs and values to consider them in my choices, even if the rest of the world doesn’t seem to understand them and even if it goes against the general opinion. My tree thought system: an idea that gives rise to 10 others which make 10 others appear and so on. Even if sometimes it’s exhausting and that I have difficulty structuring my ideas causing scattering, I feel like I’m constantly in creativity.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? Parks in general. I feel safe in green environments, the stress of everyday life fades. I unwillingly focus on the simple things around me. I focus on other emotions: serenity, calm and wonder. So, I feel like I’m looking at things with a fresh look every time. So I’m working mentally in a more fluid, more coherent way. So my best places are: the Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil and its tropical landscapes and the Bagatelle park and its rose garden.
What books influenced my life and how? When I was a student, I had a presentation to make on Africa, and in particular South Sudan. In the classic bookstores, no book talked about South Sudan, and I had to go to a specialized library. There I found 2 books. The first one was called the SOUTH SUDAN DRAMA. A war was raging but nobody had heard of it and finally nobody knew about it. It took more than 20 years for the media to finally talk about it and even then, in a very concise way. he second, “Sursaut de Afrique qu’on achève” from ASSANI FASSASSI. This book has upset all my beliefs about Africa’s past, present and about what I thought I knew. Since that day, I have adopted the motto: “Don’t be satisfied with what you are shown, seek what you are not told”. Since then, in my articles I write about what is little mentioned.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? «Coming Home» by Leon Bridges.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? I don’t know if he can be classified as a fictional hero but I would say Bugs Bunny, he is very smart, exasperating, and whatever the situation, he always gets over his enemies with his tricks.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? Even if she’s passed away, my heroine is Wangary Maathai. I admired its commitment as much for the environment, management of natural resources, as for its wrestle against the poverty. She worked all along his life, for emancipation of women and human rights, food security. She was the first in East Africa to obtain a doctorate in veterinary medicine. Imprisoned, repudiated by her husband, she was the first African woman to obtain the Nobel prize.
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? “The odyssey of Pi “this movie represents our visceral need for fiction to shape our life choices, the role of the fable in the construction of our personality and our spirituality.
What role play stories in my life and work? Ever since I was little, I was lulled by Caribbean and African tales. Animals, spirit world, sacred trees, sages, ancestors, participated in nourishing my imagination, my desire for adventures, trips and discoveries elsewhere. The Human Adventure. Storytellers and their ability to tell stories, captivate, amaze and question fascinates me as much. Without this gift, as a storyteller, I decided to write instead. Tales are important because they maintain our wonder, and we are sorely lacking them. To marvel is a way to get away from reality and reinvent his own world. Today, many people turn to the virtual, the digital at the expense of
What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me? We each see our lives through a prism. Our gaze on our life can be a tale to inspire. Our reality, in its raw state, can sometimes be heavy to bear and using our imagination as a defense mechanism can be a very useful resource to deal with situations that are beyond our control. Looking at our history, our experience in a different way to go beyond painful situations and inject meaning and hope. Through this prism, we become the novelist who proposes a version of the story that can inspire, a way to get something out of it. To consider and relate our story, our experience differently to overcome painful situations,
to inject meaning and hope. To inscribe our story in the legend.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My ex-boyfriend Sean: It was with him that I made most of my travels, learned Swahili, and opened my eyes to the world. Being very open, bubbly, sociable and atypical, his state of mind, his way of being and acting are very inspiring.
Which people or companies would I like to work with ?
I would like writing or working for :
- Les éditions autour du monde : https://www.editions-autourdumonde.fr/
- Les Éditions Cipango (that reconciles travel, tales and youth) https://editions-
- La revue BOUTS DU MONDE (for their travel diaries): https://www.revue-
boutsdumonde.com/ Contact (William Mauxion)
- La maison CosmOpole (I like the idea of their collection “Dictionnary of unusual)
What project am I looking forward to work on? I finish and refine first my book “change by travel, another vision of the world”. It is a book that certainly speaks of journeys, punctuated by my own wanderings but not only: Other themes are addressed but always with the journey as a common thread: biodiversity, history, geopolitics, environment, technology, agriculture, social engineering etc. I try to show how all these themes and their evolutions have impacted our vision of the other.
Then, my mywebsite for artists and craftspeople. And finally, lay the groundwork for my project “CAP VERT VEGETAL” around plants.
Where can you see me or my work?
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? Passion is what is innate to each of us but personal. It is our innate creativity, whether we devote ourselves to it or not, but it is always there. It is up to us to reveal it or ignore it, but whatever the age, it is an integral part of us, our
identity, our natural disposition. That’s why she can’t disappear. We can keep her quiet, or share it, it’s up to us to decide to express it or not but its our essence.
What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? The coffee place “le très particulier » to Montmartre with its canopy and large tropical plants.
Which creative professionals should Peter invite to tell their story?
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