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Social projects that nurture the soul. Intellectual jobs that kill us. Meeting Adeline Praud in between. Joy. Reflecting on stereotypes.

by Miki Ambrózy

On Paths Crossing

June 2017

There are encounters that strike us as significant, even if at the moment of the encounter we are only faintly aware of their future impact.

“Il me fallait reconnaitre qu’il existe un lien entre mes activités sociaux et mon interet artistique.”

Adéline takes the time for relationships to pass through her. To listen to her acknowledge her place in the world touches me because the discourse is simple, forceful, factual. She is accepting her role as storyteller without doubt – there is a tradition and a whole universe supporting her.

Simple, forceful, factual.

There isn’t a storm announcing creation.

There is only creation.


It’s sublime and assertive.

Her interviews in her current project strike me as deeply connected, on a human level. Her curiosity and the space she leaves for discourse are wide open. Her establishing shots are cut short, but they linger on in my mind. Until she pulls up her photographic work on the screen: fragments falling in place, instantly and with quiet force.

There are encounters that strike us as significant.

I find myself in a team of journalists, digital communicators, artists. I contribute clairvoyance. Acknowledge, show gratitude. This isn’t a place for being judgmental: the standpoint we all share is that of solidarity.

I visualize the connections I see. And I see them everywhere. I hold back not to intrude on others’. It is not with arrogance but with introspection that I speak of holding back.

Rarely do mental temporalities connect, yet it’s worth waiting for those moments.

I have been observing learning for thirty-seven years. Kajus is only six months old, but he observes three-year old Noé and follows, constructs, submerges in the energies of his brother.

Note to the ethnographer inside: learning is essentially individual, but it’s assessment is culturally and institutionally defined. I have done a good job as a parent becauseKajus grabs objects with a single focus and fierce determination. We have done a good job as trainers because participating young people are overcoming the obstacles: open-source software, consumer tech conditions, long hours, lack of time to develop quality work, temporalities defined by budgets…

To communicate in spite of it all.

These are waves of the same water, a river flows in one direction.

I breathe humility, I breathe a lack of intellectual mindfucking. I like what I breathe, I quietly observe how I’ve become transformed by formal education, intellectualizing, status-driven work in a large organization.

I quietly tell myself that I am somewhere else in life right now, but that places like Les Bateleurs will never reject anybody, and this anybody could be me one day. And that makes me humble in my ways, to drop critical reflexes and embrace a culture that is somewhat Greek in its love of food, somewhat Hungarian in its love of conversation, somewhat Dutch in its love of its own image, somewhat French in its self-assured arrogance.

The complexity of institutional identity amazes me, over and over again.

The elderly drifting in an out, beaming with joy. Openness as a social practice, there are no security guards to scare us from ourselves.

It is not by explaining.
It is far away from comprehension.

It is through organization that things become simple, forceful, factual from their free form. Lucky is the one with one desire only, one direction only.