Rain washed all trees and plants so we discover nature downtown. It is appearing again after hiding behind a thick layer of dust.
Back to work
I’m back to work and I must admit I love my job. I have the chance to create and manage projects, do radio programs, meet people and I feel like it would be very difficult and even more impossible in Reunion Island and France. I hope I’m wrong but I had no signs going towards an opportunity. Maybe I’m too difficult…
Yes, my health is at risk. Yes, daily life can be tough. But for once I have a fulfilling job, in line with my values and that I love to do…
Antananarivo is preparing to host international events. The Francophonie Summit will be held in less than a month now. We can see the city preparing to this.
White lines appeared on major roads downtown. It is sad to have to wait international events and leaders to discuss while eating petits fours for infrastructures to be improved. But at the same time, it is a benefit for the whole population.
Meeting with Emmanuel Genvrin
We had the great chance to meet Emmanuel Genvrin, author living in La Réunion for a long time. This prolific author, friend of late André Pangrani (founder of the magazine Kanyar), talked about cultural life and policies in La Réunion. I was really happy to meet him again (we met before in La Réunion) and to discuss with him. I was in Antananarivo to promote his last book Rock Sakay about the failure of “Reunionnese” colonisation project of Madagascar, led by France. Unfortunately, I’ve not read it yet, as this birthday gift is in La Réunion and apparently, we cannot rely on Malagasy Post to receive mail and as we have no letter box.
I always had a complicated relationship with Reunionnese culture. I love it, I desire it but I feel like it is only teasing me. It sounds like I will never ‘own’ it, like I will never be part of it. Maybe I have difficulties to integrate the island, even if I was born and I lived there.
I read in a Michèle Rakotoson’s book the word acculturé (without culture) and it is maybe the closest word to describe how I feel.
I have no time to read those days as I’m too tired and I’ve not borrowed anything for a moment at the Alliance Française or at the Institut Français de Madagascar.
However, we’ve seen ‘The Lobster’ at the Institut Français de Madagascar during their free movie sessions, a crazy movie about love and society.
We live around Anosy, government neighbourhood, close to Lake Anosy. It’s got a good reputation.
We hosted a friend, part of the Coopération régionale at home for two nights as she spent few days in Antananarivo. Friday night, we went with her for her to get a taxi, few hundreds of meters from home, next door. It was around 8pm and 8.30pm when a group of 6 to 8 people threat us with a gun and knives. We had no idea and did not really care if it was a real gun or not. We were more afraid about knives (real ones). They asked for money and wealth, searching all our bodies. They know some tourists keep money inside their underwear and we both have been touched by several people. My partner asked to have his papers back and they gave them back.
We followed instructions from the colonel met when we arrived, in charge of French people in the Indian Ocean: no resistance and give all you’ve got. Our aggressors must have been disappointed as we had only our phones and few money. By chance, we were not beaten. When they were searching, I feared for my crotch but more for my partner who had knives pointed at him. Without communicating, we thought the same: they won’t use the gun as it will be too loud (and vazahas and karanas murders would be too annoying) but a wound caused by a knife (maybe dirty or that could led us to the hospital) would be a big problem.
Policemen and gendarmes (it was difficult to identify where to go, even for a Malagasy) who took our claim were surprised to know that this kind of aggression took place at this place and at this hour.
Even if it is not usual, risk of aggression sounds common and Malagasy people are also victims themselves. In the end, I’m more worried about no duty of rescue. Few people told me it is very common.
Of course, from this moment, without being paranoid, we do not see our environment the same way. Because an aggression close to home let us think that they might have watch our activity.
Everybody has an ‘explanation’, a ‘justification’ of this event: extreme poverty, despair…
I’m looking for answers. Before the aggression, I’ve noticed quite well schemes and frustration the population undertook. Of course, I understand exasperation about money and Malagasy women. This weekend, I saw a tourist putting a note in a low-cut dress of a traditional dancer in a restaurant during a show and I was asking to myself how it would be seen if he was doing the same with a traditional French dancer in the East of France for example…