Jamma Rek!

Version 2As the 2013 door is gently closing and the 2014 window is impatiently waiting to be opened, I wish you all a peaceful and safe Christmas season. A Christmas in Dakar is like a Melbourne Christmas… Despite the freshness of the African winter, the sun is still high and the air is warm and gentle. The celebrations will take place outside, near a beach and under the palm trees. Tolerance and peace will be two pillars of the notorious Senegalese wisdom.

2013 will have been a year of changes and renewal for myself and for my family. I suppose moving again to Africa is allowing me to discover and embrace aspects of my life that I have neglected for many years. So far Africa gave me more than I have offered to it. I hope 2014 will provide me the opportunities to give back to a country and region which I already love so much.

Suspended Words has been one of my many joys of 2013 and I thank you for following and supporting my attempt to find the right words and capture honest photographies. A comment and a “like” have so much impact for me. I have always need encouragements and honest feedback to allow me to grow in my life. I sincerely thank you for nurturing my new passion.

Have a wonderful new year, full of hope, love, good health and successes.

Jamma Rek means Peace only in Wolof

My daughters

I have three daughters. I call them the girls or sometimes “les filles”. They live far away from me in another part of the world.

Love has no boundaries – it is my desperate way to convincingly build my defence mechanism, the persuasion that I am right to live away from them. I miss their smiles, their giggles and open mockery of my accent. I miss the few cuddles that they still allow themselves to give, I miss the “whatever” and pre-teen attitudes. I miss the weird music, the expressions and other oddities of their young lives.

My daughters, forgive me for my decision. It was not to punish you but just my way to be a source of inspiration and to provide you with an open window to the world.
For you, I have much love, different perspectives and experiences to offer. I hope that you are still seeing me as the supportive and caring line coach of your lives.

I love you, every day,

I love you for what you are bringing to the world today,

I love you for what you are destined to become in the future.

Today, we are all refugees.

I came to Australia 15 years ago. I arrived at the door of this country under a business visa with money and professional sponsorship.

Several years later, when I decided to emigrate here, I just had to sign a few papers, proof few facts about my lifestyle and to go through a basic health check. I remember the comment of a nurse during the check up: “we need more people like you instead of…you know.”

Oh yes… I know too well, that under Australian perception and prejudice, I was different: a French guy with education and more money than others.

Today, I am an Australian by choice and love. Today, my government took an abject decision towards refugees.

It is not about taking away the right to settle to Australia. It is about taking away the hope, the security and the willingness to contribute with dignity to our beautiful land.

Today, we have closed our door to refugees and on our humanity.