Short interview in Al Bayane

Could you tell us about yourself as a writer?

I do not recognise myself behind a label. You call me a writer and although I do write, I think the label doesn’t suit me. Besides, I take great care not to have a label. I’m from Alfred Adler’s school. Basically, it used to suit me to be working from the behind the scenes. On my way, however, I realise that putting myself forward is a way for me to get what I have always been looking for: beauty in deep interactions and love. So more and more, I come out of my shell.

What do the arts and letters represent to you?

My parents took us a lot to the museum, to concerts, to attend operas, ballets. So early on, I was familiarised with art and many of my friends are working in art. I took a little detour through drama classes, I have a taste for representation as well as costumes. I like to provoke emotions more than anything. Over the past few years, I have done a job of accepting myself so that I can indulge myself more. The vulnerability, the exposure, it was complicated for me. I had to push myself. Letters are my refuge, my inspiration, and give me the tools for my development. I am fascinated by life stories. I read a lot of biographies. And I am interested in everything, I love diversity and seek travel and discovery. When my morale is low, I read philosophy. Seneca for example. I had the chance at the age of 12 to have a life-changing encounter with my French teacher, Jean-Pierre Jacques. A professor of letters at the university, who had chosen to treat his depression at my college for a year. He introduced me to Rimbaud, philosophy, Sartre, I was fascinated by his stories and his knowledge. A huge luxury for the curious young girl that I was and that I have stayed. We continued to exchange for many years (unfortunately he passed away twenty-five years ago. I still think of him often).

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What does writing mean to you?

Writing has been a daily practice since I was little. I write to challenge my thoughts and progress, to please, to test, to create. It is more a quest for aesthetics, than a search for truth. Again, what interests me is what I can provoke in the other with my words or in myself.

Tell us about the cities you visited and which left a remarkable mark on your artistic journey.

I fell in love with Piazza Del Campio in Siena. I hadn’t felt this anywhere else. I arrived in this square by chance and my heart literally stopped at the splendor of the place. I will not forget this moment. My Brittany is also a place that provokes many emotions in me. In particular, the arrival on the Trinité-sur- Mer, the wild coast, Belle-Île-en-Mer, the Gulf of Morbihan …

Tell us about the books that you have already read and that have marked your thoughts.

I am a fan of Seneca, Adler, Murakami (especially IQ84 and the author’s self-portrait as a long-distance runner. The discipline inspires me as well as the link between body and mind). Hold on to your kids by Gabor Maté allowed me to understand the dangers of our society, which trusts peers more than the teachings of elders. I feel more confident as a parent since reading it. John Niland’s self-worth safari is a must-have. My bedside books for many years have been Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand, and The Little Prince by Saint-Exupéry. The beauty of these texts made me happy. I admit that I don’t know how many times I have read them! I would say I read an average of two books a week. It’s a consuming passion that sometimes keeps me awake. I take my role as a reader very seriously. I highlight my books and take notes on my computer of the most interesting passages. However, I forgot many books. When I was little I was a fan of Jules Verne. His novels made me a little. I suppose that to work for Europe, you have to be curious. It’s so complex. This is a trait I find in many of my colleagues.

Collected by Noureddine Mhakkak in French for Al Bayane

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