Je me souviendrai/I will remember
Fred Jourdain / Martin Parrot
By flicking through the pages illustrated by Fred in Je Me Souveniri, one thing is obvious: the images are frank, punchy. If the tone is more committed than usual, there is also a continuity with his other projects. The characters here embody great ideas and as is often the case in the stories he tells, they measure themselves against a world that will probably make them grow. The difference here is the violence of the encounter. The environment in these illustrations is not another protagonist, but a negative force that actively ensures the misfortune of the characters staged.
I will remember, it is a project on the Spring mapleHow did you live this period at the time?
Indeed, it is a collective launched in the wake of student demonstrations of 2012 by André Kadi.
It already bardait a lot in Montreal when it began to ignite also in Quebec, in front of the National Assembly, after negotiations were broken between the government and the principal student leaders.
At the same time, André took the initiative to mount a collective in the urgency in order to publish what would become I will remember, a sort of eclectic document on the events of the Maple Spring seen by a panoply of artists in the form of texts, illustrations, photographs and comics ... André had already made comics with the Bubble box in France and they wanted to do something about the Maple Spring. He invited me to participate.
I hesitated a bit at first ... I've always admired artists like John Lennon and Roger Waters, guys who take a stand on social issues that matter to them, but I wanted to find the right angle to address this topic- the.
When the idea of The Vigil came to me, I launched myself and all the rest, the illustrations, the posters and the graphic novel section, all that went on like a wildfire.
The book was done in 2 weeks!
I have illustrated thirty pages of the collection, of which twenty-four to support graphically No longer sleep, a text composed by my friend Simon Brousseau to whom I had asked to write something that I could illustrate. All authors have agreed to hand over their royalties to Amnesty International and ASSÉ (Association for Student Union Solidarity).
I find it funny that the book was published in France and not in Quebec, as if from there, it was obvious that we had to leave a kind of trace and testimony of what was lived here.
How did you get inspired for your illustrations?
Initially, I was inspired by the Statue of Liberty. It's a strong symbol that I've always enjoyed since I was a child. I found myself at the foot of this statue at the age of 14 and it's one of the most beautiful things I've seen in my life.
Over the course of the sketches, it brought me to this idea of the young woman, the vigil who watches over the fray on the shoulders of Justice, the allegorical image of the moral force that underlies the legal system. with his sword, his scales and his blindfold that symbolize impartiality.
Some of my illustrations, like the troublemaker and the poster with the slogan "Media bought, Media to throw! "Come directly from my research on Mai 68. I see a big parallel with the Maple Spring.
Other social or political events have affected you in this way?
At 17 years, I was at the Summit of the Americas. It is brutal to realize the extent of the control system put in place around the meetings and discussions of heads of state and major decision-makers.
In Quebec, the anti-FTAA protesters, who for the most part looked like hippies rather than guerrillas, were often received as criminals by the police ... My first canvas for life was strongly inspired by what I saw while going there and it left a mark on my creations in the years that followed.
It partly eclipsed after that ... anyway, there was a change of tone, a shift to the nuance and emphasis on emancipation rather than the idea of portraying violent actions. Criticism to criticize, it ends up being breathless. I prefer to try to build, in the sense of proposing, to inspire. That's what I tried to do with this project.
Would you do such a project?
I think I could not miss it at that time. The protests against the war in Vietnam, Mai 68 in France and the Maple Spring are milestones for a society. Several people were cynical a few years ago: "lyoung people all have cellphones, they are individualistic, disconnected, etc. ... And of course, they have cell phones, but they are aware. The Maple Spring has given political enthusiasm to many Quebecers, especially young people.
We will remember for a long time this period and Je me souviendrai/I will remember is a very interesting archival document in this sense.
There is a sentence that I like in Brousseau's text, it made me laugh when I re-read it recently, but at the same time, it's very serious and those who have lived all this on the street will remember the feeling that hovered at the time:
"We were ten miles. I just hope that tomorrow we will be more numerous ... They can not all cringe in prison. They can not kill us all tabarnak "
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