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.
In a Culture Keeper first, at least in recent memory, we bring you a recipe! In a video report narrated in French (never fear, non-French speaker, we’ve included some English text for you), Bill Diem takes us from the market to the kitchen to a dinner table surrounded by friends ready to enjoy the evening’s star dish. Along the way he sheds some light on the history of this representative of France’s reputed culinary traditions.
COLLABORATION BY KAMI L. RICE, OLIVIER PEYROUS, AND JC JOHNSON
Since part of our Culture Keeper team is based in France, it seems appropriate to bring you a Culture Keeper take on one of France’s biggest news stories in the waning weeks of 2018: the Gilets Jaunes (“Yellow Vests” or “Yellow Jackets”) movement that made it into foreign news outlets when the protests turned violent in Paris. We’re not a breaking news outlet by any stretch of the imagination, but we are in the business of offering a bit of cultural context where we can. Which is what we seek to do here as we experiment with a new-to-us storytelling format that we hope to perfect over time.