24 September 2016: Cugy (VD), Switzerland.
One week in Perpignan, for the traditional photo festival Visa pour l’Image, admiring the inspiring work of great photojournalists and improving my understanding of the world, in its best and worst aspects.
Back at the office, the portraits of two of my colleagues stand next to a condolence book. Another source of motivation. We better have to be outstanding now…
05 September 2015: Visa pour l’Image, Perpignan, France.
My two phones have been switched off, new symbol of a laissez aller, encouraging my brain to let go and to enjoy the fresh breeze. I wish I could be dancing in a cold fjord.
After 3 months and 7 days, my plane-free detox stopped, with a return to Europe announcing the beginning of a new mission. I am, finally, going to Yemen.
And the music get louder…
More than 10 years after its publication, I read again the book/comic “The Photographer“, taking place in Afghanistan and particularly in Badakhshan. Strange feeling than to realize that what was a source of amazement and admiration a few years ago is now a source of memories and nostalgia. Working in Afghanistan wasn’t always easy but definitely was a fantastic and rewarding experience. End of a cycle… for now.
21 February 2015: Bagan, Myanmar/Burma.
Now, with my bags and trunks ready, a new standby started today. New mission in Yemen and already a feeling of frustration not to be there with and for my team. Soon… inch’allah.
24 February 2015: Mandalay, Myanmar/Burma.
2001: My first flight ever to Southeast Asia is booked and a wave of panic is hitting me, hard, as I am realizing I am about to leave my confort zone. “What am I gonna do if I fall sick, can’t communicate with people or simply don’t feel comfortable, so far from home?”
24 February 2015: U Bein bridge, next to Mandalay, Myanmar/Burma.
2015: I’m reading at the back of a taxi driving to Bangkok center. My body is relaxing while my mind is getting increasingly excited about the idea of going to my favorite Japanese restaurant in town. While I look outside, checking if the driver is taking the right road, I start thinking of the different places I like in Bangkok and would like to go back to in the coming days. Once again, being here suddenly feels like Home.
20 February 2015: Mr. Aye Kyaw Htay, vendor in Zegyo Market, Mandalay, Myanmar/Burma.
And while my heartbeat keeps dropping, I wonder how I would have reacted, back then, in 2001, if someone had predicted 2015 to me. A punch in his face, maybe. Or, more certainly, a stronger panic attack… 😉
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” – Rumi
Yes, 10 days of yoga and meditation make you more flexible, quiet and a bit cheesy ;-).
16 February 2015: Glen, Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand
End of mission. Ciao radio, security checks, curfews, IEDs and 24/7 phone. Welcome deep sleeps, books, massages, good food and inner silence. Southeast Asia, I’m coming back.
21 January 2015: Majid, Samanghan province, Afghanistan.