Should we rethink the trip?

Should mobility be reconsidered in a time of widespread health crises, phenomenal environmental challenges or unprecedented waves of forced migration? Our current events seem to be pushing us to reconsider our connection to travel, which is most often associated with well-being when not forced by climatic or military disasters. To do this, 32 contemporary artists are currently giving their vision of what travel means to the EDF Group Foundation in Paris. To learn more about this, Marie Sorbier talked to Nathalie Bazocheco-curator of the exhibition.

Changes you can not ignore

If the trip was recently considered a pleasant activity, synonymous with holidays and happiness, the latest international news reporting on forced migrations and the rise of global warming has led us to reconsider the definition of the word:

It is now striking that the tourism industry has a significant impact on global warming. We thought that by inviting these French and international artists, they could give us the opportunity to get a new look at what travel means. » Nathalie Bazoche

Also this revision of the idea of ​​travel was partially launched, even though the whole world was deprived of the journey in the years of pandemic that we have just been through:

In recent years, we have forgotten what it was like to travel. We have also realized the climate problems, which means that we will probably not be able to continue traveling as we have been able to do in the past. » Nathalie Bazoche

So have we lost what was the very essence of traveling with this large-scale consciousness?

To travel is to discover, it is the other, it is learning, to get to know heritage, cultures, diversity, nature. We may have forgotten what it meant to respect the other as we respect nature. » Nathalie Bazoche

Rethink the journey

However, are the artists dealing with the theme of travel in their art critical of the consumer society, the monstrous tourism and its impact on the acceleration of global warming, the forced displacement of populations or other problems of contemporary “travelers” must compose ?

No, but in this exhibition they ask the question, without trying to make people feel guilty. Our wish was to raise questions like “Is it still possible to travel like this? How do we travel tomorrow?”. » Nathalie Bazoche

However, the 5% of the world’s population engaged in tourism do not necessarily ask themselves these questions and are still very much present in the world’s cultural highlights. But what to do about it? Prohibit people from seeing the wonders of our world and encourage them to stay home?

Artists are not here to tell them to stop traveling, just to make them think about what travel can be tomorrow, whether it’s in space, the metaverse, or just slower time. . Maybe we should say to ourselves that we can continue to travel, but otherwise. » Nathalie Bazoche

These new perspectives on travel that the artists have explored really help to imagine solutions for continuing to travel, differently, but above all in a conscious way:

Perhaps we will no longer be able to travel as we usually do, that is, in an irrational and compulsive way. This is what we realized during the imprisonments. We have forgotten what it meant to stay at home, to travel just below home, because it is possible to discover the other while not necessarily being very far from home. » Nathalie Bazoche

Does this mean that travel is, above all, considered a social fact today?

It is a moment of openness and education. One of the exhibited works incorporates Article 13 of the Constitution for Human and Civil Rights, which states that everyone has the right to leave their home, to move within their country, to leave and return to it. I believe that travel is a social fact in the sense that it raises the issue of openness, of meeting others. » Nathalie Bazoche

45 min

The exhibition Do you have to travel to be happy? can be discovered for free until January 29, 2023 at the EDF Group Foundation in Paris.

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