Bookfair, publishing, and new category [Eng]

Hey there !

Those last days were crazy, so I take this time for giving you some news. I don’t know necessarily where to start, so let’s make a list:

  • Editorial blog : It turned out my blog became more and more involved in some specific topics, and sometimes I am wondering if there is still a place here for my personnal daily posts. It gets more professional but I still feel this blog will remain mine if I am able to keep this kind of post available. However, I see my blog more as an editorial project than ever ! There is now an e-mail adress if you want to contact me, and I updated the “About” page, so check this out 😉
  • National Bookfair of Paris: every year, I dream to go to the National Bookfair of Paris, THE place to be for those who want to meet their favorite authors, publishers, assisting to conference, getting autographs, discovering new books etc. I already went to the Bookfair of Brive, but this year will continue as good as it started : I will be at the National Bookfair of Paris with the greatest bookshop’s team of France and the publisher of Toni Morrison’s books in french, Editions 10-18.  It’s so crazy, and I just can’t wait to be there.


    All started with Twitter, and now I will have my pass as an intern at this great event. One day, I will probably write an article about tips I find out, by and by. But let’s see how it goes first. I am superstitious, you know that.

  • Roots&Inspiration, new category ! I planned it for a long, long, long time.  I came up with a new bilingual project , “Roots&Inspiration” which will point out artistic and inspirational project of ethnic communities (so, not only afro, of course!) : through portraits of interesting and inspirationnal profiles, I hope to underline the diversity of creation and its several origins. Art, entrepreneurship, music, website…everything !So if you want to let me know your project, send me a mail to mrsroots.blog[at]gmail.com. If you feel that ethnic culture, origins and creation are part of your work, or if you have questions about it, ask me ! 🙂
  • Google’s innovation : I couldn’t end this post without talking about this new innovation. Google is seriously freaking me out: it literally realized an e-book, as a substitute to paper book, taking into consideration the important of the use (manner to hold a book, sliding pages).
    Innovation is in this way to insert in people’s habits: like Facebook which became a part of our lifestyle, our habits concerning books are corresponding to a way of use. In France, and mainly in Europe, resistance to reader and tablet were sometimes justified by that, so Google’s e-book gets closer to our habits. Very interesting.

livre numerique : comment tourner les pages from zaouaikarim on Vimeo.

Is being open-minded a myth ?

 

Trying harder to be open-minded, it’s like having a mind stretching on and on and on. It’s way easier when you just have to hear the culture of the other, but what about when you have to accept it in your daily life ? Let’s go back to my personnal context.

I am mixed, and try to find a balance between three different cultures(two different, and an intern one) : african, french, and french-carribean. I am in the middle of a constant struggle that people simply sum up : “it’s the same”. No, it’s not the same. There is something offensive in the way to say “it’s not the same”. Usually, people think that underlining differences is to separate people. For example, when I say I am french, my afro friends are joking about all the things I ignore about Africa.  We were talking about music, and they were testing me about singers I know, until one of them stop their atonishment and say “she’s french, guys !”.

On one hand, it was fair to underline the fact I have a french culture, and that my african origin do not mean I am african. On an other hand, it sounded like “she won’t ever understand”, as if it won’t ever be enough. Somehow, it’s true. My parents don’t understand each other on some facts because they don’t share the same culture, so I can say yes, it cannot be enough. Not that it makes it impossible but, sadly, I think it’s quite idealistic to think about an equal relationship, even with compromises. We can lead to this ideal understanding, we can belive in it, but it will miss something.

However, I barely can conceive my life without foreign friends. During a long time, I felt stuck, incomplete – if you think about Backstreet boys’s song I forgive you, I thought the same haha – I felt I needed something else. It took time before I get what it was about. I need to feed myself of others cultures : some people can build their identity through their own country, fact that I respect because I think patriotism is fascinating in its manner to be enough by itself. They just need their country, and that’s alright. But it’s not my case, I easily felt stuck during a long period, I felt almost claustrophobic to do not experience something else. So I left, I met new people, I built my european identity,  and I came back. Lately, I met imigrant people and it’s thrilling because I break my unconscious prejudices about them, and I learn a lot.

… I finally fell in love with someone who has a culture different from mine. And as thrilling was our discussions, we hurted each other through the incapacity to understand each other sometimes. It was very complexe, but I loved him. I loved him for these differences and also because he teached me to understand his mentality. I discovered, once again, that I had limits and a rest of prejudices, that I could be more understanding. I even have some regrets to have been so stubborn: just because my own personnal life was influenced by what I knew of Africa through my dad, it did not mean that African people are like him. Simple thought, easily forgotten though. Africa contents different countries and cultures. I think I just suffer/I am scared to be considered as an ethnocentric european person, who doesn’t try to go further. I run away from this stereotype, and even sometimes I feel as if my afro friends slightly and unconsciously related me to this at the beginning. Everytime, I broke once more their own prejudices.

Pedagogy is the key.

Roots, what’s that ?

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Roots” seems to be a basic word, but I took time before realizing how meaningfull it could be. I could reduce this interest to my origins, but we can having roots in many ways. For example, I travelled a lot in different countries and this year, I lived during 9 months in Finland (I am still living there but it comes to an end in few weeks)… These experiences fed an open-mindness that I consider as essential as breathing.

I need to know more about the world in order to find my place somewhere, to know my cultural and spacial limits. I need to understand the diversity to know who I am.

So, my roots are not only in my blood, they are growing inside the world and try to find a way to extend. By and by. More and more. It’s something which brings a lot of amazing meetings, or persons, or activities. It’s something not easy, and it forces to be “opened”.

Be opened all the time is hard, because it means that you have to wonder about yourself, about your prejudices, your beliefs… Sometimes, it feels good to just be sure, just close itself, locking it and saying ” it’s enough for me”. But then, there is often a narrow-mindness which follows.