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Louise Michel and the Kanaks (2/2) - writing the legend and bringing battles together

Après l’écrasement de la Commune insurrectionnelle de Paris, 4500 Communards sont déportés en Nouvelle-Calédonie, dont 25 femmes.1 Parmi elles, Louise Michel, sur qui pèsent sept chefs d’accusation : « 1 – attentat ayant pour but de changer le gouvernement ; 2 – excitation à la guerre civile ; 3 – port d’armes apparentes et d’uniforme militaire ; usage de ses armes ; 4 – faux en écriture ; 5 – usage de faux ; 6 – complicité, par provocation et machination, d’assassinat de personnes retenues, soi-disant, comme otages par la Commune ; 7 – complicité d’arrestations illégales, suivies de tortures et de mort »2 (le Conseil de guerre ne retiendra cependant que la charge numéro 3). En août 1873, après vingt mois passés à la prison de l’Abbaye d’Auberive (Haute-Marne), elle est embarquée à destination de la Nouvelle-Calédonie. Au cours des quatre mois que dure le voyage, Louise Michel, jusqu’alors socialiste blanquiste3, est convertie aux thèses anarchistes4 par Nathalie Lemel (1827-1921)5, autre grande figure de la Commune de Paris. Le 14 décembre 1873, elles sont débarquées à la presqu’île Ducos, dédiée à la déportation en enceinte fortifiée, où elles partageront la même cabane. Read More

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Degradation of parliamentary sculptures: looking back at an iconoclastic episode in Papua New Guinea

In December 2013, the president of the New Guinea parliament, Theodore Zibang Zurenuoc, caused a stir in the country. Armed with an axe, he attacked the lintel adorning the parliament's frontispiece, irreversibly damaging the sculptures that adorned it. Although many voices were raised in Papua New Guinea to comment on this episode, not all of them were opposed to the president's actions, thus highlighting the debates that are shaking the country and its relationship with Christianity. Read More

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Breath of life (la vie n’est qu’un souffle) à la fondation Opale

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It is hard to think you would just happen to be walking by the Opale Foundation without previously planning to go visit it! Perched at an altitude of 1,100 meters in a village in the Swiss Alps, you first have to negotiate a few hairpin bends to finally arrive at your destination: the Valais commune of Lens. Even before entering the art center, the visitor can appreciate the natural setting; the Rhone Valley below, snow-capped peaks on the horizon and their reflection in Lake Louché, which borders the Foundation. 

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Tupuna, by Moearii Darius: multiple views on History, message of hope for Polynesian culture and heritage

"No man, however, can live normally if he is cut off from the roots of his past; this is no different of societies".1

Ce constat de José Garanger, archéologue, professeur à l’université Paris I qui orchestra des fouilles en Polynésie avec ses étudiants, pourrait être le leitmotiv de Moearii Darius, au cours de son long projet (plus de dix ans) de documentation puis d’écriture de l’ouvrage Tupuna, Voyage sur les Traces des Ancêtres à Tahiti et dans les îles, publié en 2021 chez Au vent des îles. Read More

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Is the Humboldt Forum really that bad?

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Friday 26th of November 2021. I am in Berlin (Germany) for a research trip related to my PhD project and the first place I go to visit is the Humboldt Forum: the newly built and opened museum in central Berlin, on the Museum Island. For months I had been following the case of the Humboldt Forum’s reopening which had, for sure, been making noise in the museum world and has, since the project of its creation, been a very controversial project. Read More

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Maro 'Ura. A Polynesian treasure : the mysterious ways of a sacred object

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You may have seen them, those intriguing posters in the streets of Paris: blue, yellow, an unidentified object occupying the space, and a word that is equally unknown to most of us: Maro 'Ura.At most, the subtitle helps us to see more clearly: "a Polynesian treasure". A new surprise: how can this object, which seems so old, so damaged, and whose usefulness is hard to distinguish, be a "treasure"? Read More

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Behrouz Boochani’s work: how to represent suffering?

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How can I describe a father’s suffering who is separated from his wife and children for six years?
How can I describe a mother witnessing her small kids growing up for six years in a prison camp? 
How can I describe a young man who was full of life but has lost his opportunity to continue his education, to find love, has lost his health, his family, his hope, has lost many opportunities that you take for granted?1
Behrouz Boochani, TedxSydney Writing is an act of resistance.

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