It is a busy week for me over here (last week at work before the big stuff).
Although I am busy, I always pay a great deal of attention to the world news. First, this is part of my job, and secondly, I am curious about what’s going on out there.
The world is a big mess right now, but it seems that it became crazier over the last few weeks. War in Syria, war in Ukraine, war in Gaza, war here and there, countries flexing their muscles, planes crashing, people dying, kids dying, Christians being forced to leave their homes in Iraq… I am telling you, crazier and crazier. So many wars on the year we commemorate and remember WWI, that started 100 years ago, in July 1914… Isn’t ironic that we, as human beings, as countries, as people, seem not to learn from our past mistakes?
The world is up side down, or should I say DOWNsideUP? This is the name of a project from a friend of mine, from middle school in France (his name is Xavier), and our crazy world gives me the opportunity to share with you his artistic project.
Xavier spent six years of his life with an “extraordinary young woman” named Mylène. She had a medical condition – epilepsy – that she decided to deny to live a normal life. She pushed the denial to the point that one day she “accidentally drowned in a lake after having a seizure”. After this tragic event, Xavier “started wanting to make some noise about this neuronal disorder”. But he later realized that “the problem was not to have epilepsy, but to be Different…”.
To make some noise, Xavier started taking photographs of himself up side down, every where in the world (working as a flight attendant helps for the travel part!). As he defines it, “DOWNsideUP uses « Image », in its primary sens of course but also in a more figurative and symbolic way. It’s global philosophy and its camerawork « induce » reflection and the questioning of our perceptions so relative. Among many others, one of the project’s aspiration is to invite the viewer to consider the world from new perspectives, while he or she often sees it from only one angle : the one he/she so spontaneously calls “The” Reality.”
Over the years, Xavier developed his technique and the results are amazing. I found Xavier’s work very inspirational: the root motivation for his project, his dedication, how genuine he is, his message, and of course his photographs. In our crazy world, his project invites us to see things from a different angle. Of course that is not going to solve the world’s problems overnight, but at least it gives us a chance to pause for a minute, think about it, and maybe later become aware of our ability to do something to make a better world, by simply changing our approach or our look on this crazy world.
Further, Xavier’s photographs all over the world reminds me of Where The Hell Is Matt (another cool guy and a cool project!).
See you for the next story.