This happens when I have been alone too long—the words start to leak out of everything and they will not stop. I cannot look around, I cannot take a single step, without it becoming prose, and it is not welcome. It thrusts me into a place where language imposes this acute separation between me and everything else—leaks its ink out of the bark, the pavement, the sky, flowing directly from itself to me in the form of a stream of words, and it will not let me rest.
Take up residence in France and you’ll find that everyday life is infused with history. If you’re a curious person, you can’t help but absorb facts it would take years of history classes and careful concentration to learn back in the United States. Here you see and touch history, observing how its effects are felt even long after its scenes’ original actors have departed.
The Brotherhood of the Blood (la Confrérie de la Sanch) is a religious and charitable organization that has existed in Perpignan since 1416. Its founding mission was to commemorate the Passion of Christ, which is the short, final period of the life of Jesus Christ; to assist prisoners who had been condemned to death; and to preach penance and help sinners prepare for their final judgement and salvation. As part of this mission, members of the brotherhood, known as penitents, would accompany prisoners condemned to death on their final walk through the city to the scaffold.
Today, I saw some storks. Three, to be exact, flying over the Western Mediterranean marshlands where I live, heading to their breeding grounds further north. Late January and a presage of spring already, accompanying the mimosa trees that have suddenly burst into flower as though a child has taken a pot of the brightest yellow paint she could find and splashed drops all over a wintery canvas. It was just as the spring migration was beginning last year that France entered its first lockdown.
The roots of my Dinovember experience probably date back to a conversation a few years ago with a friend about dinosaurs. This turned into a running joke about anything T. rex related. A couple weeks ago she said to me, “You should do Dinovember this year with Paul.”
In 2013, I attended an intense, all-day, week-long training in Paris. The upper-floor classrooms hovered over the train tracks of the Gare de l’Est, and while we were too distant to hear the hustle and bustle of the train station traffic, one sound rang through the open windows in regular intervals: SNCF’s four-tone jingle that introduces train announcements to passengers. This audio sound serves as a friendly alarm, always followed by “Mesdames, Messieurs …” (“Ladies and Gentlemen …”) and useful train-travel information, such as on which track a train is arriving or an alert to a dreaded delay.
PHOTOS AND TEXT BY TUNDE ALABI-HUNDEYIN II, CÉSAR ARREDONDO, AND SYLVIA ASARE
In this “year of the pandemic,” every big news story of 2020 takes place against the backdrop of the pandemic, a reality that affects these events in ways sometimes obvious and sometimes not yet clear. Protests in the United States over police violence dominated world news cycles this summer. But like the pandemic, the protests didn’t stop at national borders. In this article, we bring you observations in word and image from correspondents of differing nationalities who witnessed protests in Brighton, England, and in Los Angeles and Paris. Their reports remind us that protests over police violence have been a worldwide story taking place in the midst of a pandemic, an event that—as our View From a Pandemic series shows—has tied humanity together in a common struggle. Together we are humans combatting a microscopic virus as well as jointly fighting the universal disease of prejudice against people who are different from us.
PHOTOGRAPHIES ET TEXTE PAR FRANCK ETCHEVERRY
PHOTOS AND TEXT BY FRANCK ETCHEVERRY
TRADUCTION ANGLAISE PAR KAMI L. RICE
ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY KAMI L. RICE
Depuis tout petit le Cirque a été le premier lieu où j’ai pu observer et approcher des animaux issus de la faune sauvage. Fasciné par leur beauté, j’ai commencé à leur vouer une véritable passion et c’est en grande partie grâce à ces premiers contacts que j’ai décidé d’en faire mon métier et de me mettre au service de la faune sauvage et de sa protection (Technicien supérieur en Gestion et Protection de la Nature, spécialisé dans la gestion de la Faune Sauvage).
As a little boy, it was at the circus that I was first able to see and get near to animals that came from the wild. I was fascinated by their beauty. They became a true passion and it’s largely thanks to these early contacts with circus animals that I decided to center my career around wildlife and put myself at the service of these animals and their protection, earning a diploma in environmental management and protection, specializing in wildlife management.