Le carnaval 2018 est terminé mais je voulais revenir sur le dimanche gras que j’ai passé à Binche. Personnellement, c’est la journée que je préfère des 3 jours gras. A cause de la diversité des masques et des costumes, des couleurs, et probablement aussi parce qu’il y a relativement moins de foule.
Pour rappel, le carnaval de Binche est inscrit au patrimoine culturel immatériel de l’humanité de l’UNESCO. Il faut s’être mêlé aux festivités pour mieux comprendre le pourquoi de cette reconnaissance. La tradition, le folklore, l’engouement populaire, les couleurs, les costumes, les musiques, sont authentiques et envoutants. Au point que d’immatériel, ce patrimoine de l’humanité se transforme devant vous en quelque chose de bien tangible. La rivière de musiques et de danses traditionnels vous entraine dans son tourbillon. Quand vient le soir, vous sentez que vous n’avez pas assisté à un spectacle mais que vous avez vraiment participé avec les Binchois à une fête unique en son genre.
On ne rigole pas avec la tradition à Binche et on y fait la fête sérieusement. Est-ce pour cette raison qu’à mon retour de Binche, dimanche gras au soir, j’ai constaté que sur la plupart de mes photos, les personnes ont un air sérieux, absorbé, concentré? Et si joie il y a – et de la joie il y en a, je vous rassure – je la vois presque plus intérieure qu’extérieure sur mes clichés. Bien-sûr, j’ai des photos avec de l’allégresse et des rires francs, mais bizarrement ou coïncidence, elles sont floues ou moins belles.
Qu’en pensez-vous, surtout vous amis Binchois: Est-ce cette reconnaissance de l’UNESCO (ou le fait que “El bon Dieu est Binchoû” ;-), qui donne aux binchois de ce dimanche gras après-midi cet air festif plus intériorisé? Ou n’ai-je encore rien compris au carnaval 😉 ?
Observez le regard derrière ce superbe masque vénitien, il vous sourit aussi avec un bonheur intérieur:
This article was originally published in the Sketchnote Army blog on 25 April 2016.
I prepared well in advance all practical details of this solo trip to India, like visa, vaccines, drugs, itinerary, hotels, etc. My goal was a journey which makes me grow internally rather than only enjoy the visit to tourist places. Therefore I also prepared myself to accept the unexpected as part of the journey. See my sketchnotes one month before leaving about that.
I also prepared carefully my material for photography and for sketchnotes. Considering my desire to travel light, I chose the essentials only. One notebook, 3 black markers (0.2, 0.5, 0.8), one marker for shadows, my favourite black pencil, a set of Faber-Castell watercolour pencils, an eraser and a pencil sharpener. All these preparations turned out to be what I’ve had need, no more no less.
One thing only did not go as I had imagined it: sketchnoting on place! Before leaving I planned to sketch during the day and every evening what I’ve seen, learnt and experienced during that day. This plan was based on wrong assumptions; that I would have had the availability, the right conditions and the proper mental state. I was immediately faced to a different reality.
My first days were very intense with a tour by car (with a driver with me). I visited many cities and beautiful sites on the pre-established itinerary from Delhi to Jaipur, then Agra, then Delhi again.
See the photos and the sketchnotes. During these days I changed the itinerary on the spot from time to time to follow my intuition or my driver’s advices.
Taking notes in the car while traveling was quickly discarded due to the mad Indian traffic or due to the bad road conditions. I was only able to write down keywords and some signs on the corner of my pages. At night, after a shower and a good vegetarian dinner (in different places every night) I was so exhausted that I felt unable to take decent notes or to draw. I still was thinking about my second week to do that correctly.
After the tour by car, I left my driver in Delhi and, alone, continued my trip by train, towards the north. Well, I finally managed to start to fill in some pages in the train. It’s worth to mention that this was possible only because this train offered me good conditions to do it. This was far to be the case in the train on return one week later.
During my stay in Haridwar and in Rishikesh I was again faced to the same difficulties to take notes. Traveling by bus, tuk tuk or rickshaw is worse than by car. But I continued writing down keywords and signs, many signs, on another small notebook that I bought locally. Then I arrived in the Phool Chatti ashram, a heaven on earth, for a retreat of one week. I was expecting to have time to sketch, to write, to draw. Again, wrong assumptions… The daily schedule of the ashram was intense; see one of my sketchnotes on it.
I also spent the free time of my first days washing my dirty clothes. I had the opportunity to work on my sketchnotes in the last days of my stay but in the meantime I continued with keywords and signs on the small notebook.
The drawings of the meditative walks are the only pieces that I did on the moment while I was on the place. The watercolor on the banks of the Ganges river is even done with water from the river itself.
My take-aways from this experience concerning sketchnoting:
- Never plan in advance too much, be flexible and ready for the unexpected
- Related to the previous point, and really linked to me: Put aside beauty and draw like it comes naturally on the moment
- In case of lack of time or for any other reason, quickly write down a maximum of information on the spot, can be keywords or simple signs that will remember you what was your idea, your feelings, your impressions, the colours, etc [I use these technique when I practice live graphic harvesting at work during events]
- When visiting, especially in crowd and choppy conditions, just take with you a small blocnote and a pencil. Leave other material in the car or in the room, they will be useless and they only risk to distract you from the essentials
- Photography is also helpful to remember later what was seen to draw it
Last but not least, the best feedback I received on my return after I published my photos and my sketchnotes is about the latter. People told me that they were able to perceive more my emotions through the sketchnotes than through photos. Another proof of the power of handmade sketchnotes.
In the original article on Sketchnotes Army, my friend Mauro added this part at the bottom:
You can see the whole bunch of sketchnotes and photos here:
I’m speechless Claudio! But there is one more of your sketchnotes I want to add to your story.
For our readers: Claudio live and work in Brussels.
Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this story with us, Claudio!
My first blog post is about my trip in India in March 2016.
I prepared the trip alone and travelled solo. This means that my journey began months before the real departure. My “One month before” sketchnotes and transcript:
In exactly one month I will travel to India. I prepare this journey, and myself, since months. I think about it since years. Looking back I certainly think unconsciously about this journey since my twenties at the times of my stays in Taizé and in the San Masseo community in Assisi.Since the first days it was clear to me that India would not be only a tourist destination. Not only wonderful landscapes, amazing colours, unknown perfumes, beautiful palaces and mosques, ancestral cultures, and interesting people to meet. Not only that. India represents to me a spiritual universe to which I feel attracted. I feel that India is one of the places where I can deepen my quest of who I am, why I am here and now, and many other questions on the purpose of life and of my interactions within my daily eco-system.As I said to my family and to friends, I’m not going there to convert me to another religion or to follow a spiritual movement. I want to be there because India is the cradle of ancestral spirituality/ies and because people are still strongly connected to them.My journey is my quest. India is one element of both of them. India is not the destination. The unexpected can happen. I’ll not be disillusioned nor disappointed. I’m ready for the unexpected because what will happen is what has to happen in my journey.Namaste
I can finish this first blog post with same conclusion: “What will happen is what has to happen in my journey with this blog“.