Do you still see Yves Sans Logement, Christian Dehors & Jean Paul Galère? #Ayonslélégance

After the 31st of Mars most winter shelters decided winter was officially over and started closing their doors on the thousands of homeless people who were counting on a roof over their heads, sending them back to the streets.

In France alone 140,000 people are affected, of which 30,000 are children. A fact Aurore, an organisation that fights against exclusion and precariousness, didn’t want to go unnoticed. So they launched a campaign to bring this appalling situation to people’s attention. It’s not because the temperatures rise, that the problem melts away.

Aurore decided to raise awareness by raising visibility, using Paris’ glamorous reputation in their advantage, and showing the obvious gap between luxury brand rich and live-on-the-street poor. Aurore Association started hanging a thousand posters in the city center and the North and North-East of Paris, with the slogan: “Ayons l’élégance d’aider ceux qui n’ont rien” (“Be elegant enough to help those who have nothing”) printed on it.

Rémi Noël, the creative mind behind the concept and execution of the poster design, uses luxury brands to get attention for the people who go unnoticed on a daily basis and to confront people with the sad reality. Noël transformed Yves Saint Laurent to “Yves Sans Logement” for the occasion. Christian Dior became “Christian Dehors”. And Jean-Paul Gaultier couldn’t be forgotten either, so he was baptized “Jean-Paul Galère”. Small detail, the luxury brands weren’t asked for permission to cooperate. So in the beginning they might not even have been aware they were part of this project.

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The campaign is getting good coverage and reviews. People on Twitter are using the hashtag #Ayonslélégance to express their appreciation. Like “La vraie élégance n’est pas dans les vitrines mais en regardant ceux qui sont sur les trottoirs” (“True elegance is not in the shop windows, but in noticing those who are on the sidewalks”).

In the meantime, the Internet is also eagerly suggesting follow-up slogans like “Dans quel monde Vuitton”; “Hugo Bosse Pas”, transforming Nina Ricci into “Nina n’a rien”, and referring to an older parody that went viral a couple of years ago: “Je Dors Dehors”.

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If you feel like helping Aurore in their fight for better living circumstances and against poverty, homelessness and exclusion, visit their website (in French and English), or contact them on their Facebook page or via their Twitter account.

Tous Charlie – A global ode to freedom of speech| #jesuischarlie #jesuisahmed #jesuis

Ever since the attacks the 7th of January we are all Charlie, we are all Ahmed. I also use the hashtags #jesuischarlie and #jesuisahmed, because I support freedom of speech and I condemn the terrorist attacks.

However, I don’t feel comfortable using them, because I’m not really Charlie or Ahmed, am I? Could I ever find the courage Ahmed Merabet showed? Am I as brave as the people who died defending their principles? Or even as brave as the people who survived and went back to the office (or to the offices of Libération) to continue doing their jobs? I sincerely hope I never have to find out, because I’m pretty sure I’m not and I couldn’t.

Je ne suis pas d’accord avec ce que vous dites, mais je me battrai pour que vous ayez le droit de le dire” – Voltaire (supposedly… origin unclear. Translation: ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it’)

Stéphane Charbonnier (Charb), Jean Cabut (Cabu), Georges Wolinski, Bernard Verlhac (Tignous), Bernard Maris, Philippe Honoré, Michel Renaud, Elsa Cayat, Mustapha Ourrad, Frédéric Boisseau, Ahmed Merabet, Franck Brinsolaro , and too many others have become victims of intolerance. Meanwhile they have also become martyrs for freedom of expression, heros of creative freedom.

Illustration by Nono

Illustration by Nono

And thus, a vicious circle of violence was supposed to begin. But instead of countering this act of violence with defeat and counter-violence, the artist world has stood up and defended themselves the best way they know how, with satire, pen and paper, and impassioned creativity.

It didn’t take long for kindred spirits to show support and solidarity through cartoons and hard-hitting critical remarks. The Internet was flooded with satirical illustrations, supportive drawings and quotes that support freedom of speech and condemn any form of violence.

And there will be more to come…

Newspapers and magazines around the world dedicated their covers to Charlie Hébdo. Websites payed their respects.

Graffiti artists are paying their respects as well by spraying beautiful hommages on walls and buildings alike. Stencil artists are even calling for action and are making stencils available for the public

On that note, I do hope peaceful and proud demonstrations and creative output will keep on setting the tone. Justice will hopefully prevail and Nelson Mandela couldn’t have been more right:

. No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela

For more responses of the art community be sure to check Creative Bloq..

Ibeyi : French Cuban Twins with a Yoruba soul, freshly signed by XL Recordings

XL Recordings added a new star to its musical galaxy. Or 2 stars actually. The British independent record label who has also embraced artists the likes of The XX, Jack White and Sigur Rós, signed the French Cuban Diaz twins aka Ibeyi (which means Twins in Yoruba).

A smart move. Ibeyi certainly seems to have that indie glow that makes the XL Recordings stars shine and stand out. Their je ne sais quoi is as rock’n’roll as it is genuine and mystical.

Naomi and Lisa-Kainde Diaz ooze heritage in their repertoire. Their songs, sung mainly in English and Yoruba, take you into a spiritual trance and make you want to echo their prayerlike lyrics and sounds. Because that is what their songs sound like: prayers. Sometimes possessed cries of worship, sometimes honest-to-god pleas filled with devotion to higher spirits no mind can grasp. A sound that is as minimal as it is complex and layered. A perfect blend of modern, electronic influences, acoustic renditions, and traditional Yoruba elements, strung together by a soulful and natural percussion that gets you in and through the rhythm of the tracks and gives every song its own heartbeat.


Although Naomi and Lisa-Kainde mainly grew up in Paris, they do stay true to their Cuban roots and Yoruba culture. They cite some more modern influences like hip-hop, ragga (a sub-genre of dancehall music or reggae), dancehall, soul and electronic music, but also jazz and blues, like Nina Simone. Another important influence seems to be their own upbringing. Being the daughters of famous percussionist father Anga Diaz and a mother who they described to Pigeonsandplanes as “a musician without an instrument”, the musical talent and rhythmic creativity seems to stem as much of the blood as it seems of the mind.

It is thanks to her [their mother] that we are musicians today, and thanks to our father that we knew we could be musicians.” – Pigeonsandplanes.com

Wherever their inspiration comes from, I’m eagerly awaiting what these multilingual, multicultural artists are up to next. But I’m sure XL Recordings will be a productive breeding ground for them. Not really fitting any kind of category, they were asked how they would label themselves, but they also admit there’s no real existing category to file them under.

It is hard for us to describe our music. If we had to we’d say we do contemporary Negro Spiritual, since our music is based on prayer.” – Pigeonsandplanes.com

Make sure to check out their website, Facebook page, and take the time to really discover them and all the facets of their musical portfolio.

Rooftopping exhibition in Paris – Soyez prêts!

The Publicis Drugstore on the Champs Élysées is the place to be this week. From the 16th until the 21st of January, you should put your vertigo aside and make the climb to the roof of the Publicis Groupe headquarters and check out the amazing photographic work of several Rooftoppers.

Among the represented artists are Tom Ryaboi, Aurelie Curie, Andrew Tso, and Taran Cypher, known representatives of the cultural movement, who climbed to the rooftops of skyscrapers in Seattle, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Toronto.

 Whether we like it or not the urban build environment runs through our veins, there’s nothing more beautiful and tragic than this affair between concrete, steel, glass and the people who go about their lives in and around it. There is no better place to see this majestic relationship than from the top of a building looking down, this is where the eternal and fleeting world meet, at the boundary between earth and sky. It has always been in our human nature to want to explore our surroundings, but now that we live in cities many have shelved this instinct. Rooftoppers are now taking this instinct to a whole new level.” ~Tom Ryaboi [mymodernmet.com]

The location fits the theme perfectly. It’s all about urbanity and heights. The Publicis Drugstore rooftop serves as a great temporary exhibition room. The walls are decorated with flatscreens and your guide is an iPad. The tablet lets you scan the artwork for more information on the artist, his or her philosophy and take on rooftopping and the artwork itself. For the people who really have no fear of heights there is another special interactive feature… Part of the rooftop floor consists of a large video screen. When you stand on it, it will let you take part in an amazing Rooftopping illusion.

Oh, and there’s a Nissan Qashqai in the air. Because this whole shindig is presented to you by Nissan.

The entrance is free but you’ll need a password to get in.
Get it here: http://www.qashqai-rooftopping.com/

For more amazing pictures, go to the My Modern Met website.

Puss in Boots

Puss in Boots – Razzle Dazzle

So I came across some new cats in the music scene… Well ‘new’ may not be the word, because Puss in Boots has been around since 2006. This elecro rock band has had me dazzled for some days now. Their nervous and obscure sound is mesmerizing and their performance takes you into an electric whirlwind of exciting chaos. Oh, and they are Paris based… which usually means French accents: oohlalaa

According to their Facebook the band deals with the depraved world of tales, childhood, the erosion of feelings and sensuality.

Their music is a mix of all things good in the music industry. You can hear some PJ Harvey/Alison Mosshart attitude, Yeah Yeah Yeahs energy and the slightly disturbing peppy obscurity of The Cure. Truth be told, every person listening to this band will find some other artist to compare them to, but in fact all these influences make there sound uniquely theirs.

Definately hoping to hear more…

Also give a listen to Gold Medal, Here and now or never (3D or 2D), Body Physical and definately give their acoustic stuff a listen as well!

RELAXED LUXURY BY CALLA HAYNES

Calla Haynes

Coup de Coeur

For this enchanting Spring-Simmer collection 2013 by CALLA Haynes, a Canadian-born and Paris-based designer. In her new collection we can see girly skirts and dresses, cozy logo sweaters, simple but so beautiful!

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see more on: http://calla.fr/index.php?/collections/spring-summer-2013/