In these long weeks of lockdown, the worst thing would be for us to languish and lament. By taking the trouble to look, we will always find a nugget, a spark, an enchantment, a beautiful encounter, a rabbit or a dove out of a magician's hat, a reason to hope, to embellish these days of languor and give them meaning again. Precisely, today I am going to present to you one of these most beautiful encounters: Julie Mamou-Mani.
You probably know her by her stage name, @Mamouz.
During the first confinement, her Instagram posts (Julie Mamou-Mani- @Mamouz) resembled this fireworks display set off at night on a Normandy beach, to relieve boredom and wake up the bourgeois, by Gabin and Belmondo, tipsy, in a Monkey in Winter.
Remember some irresistible salvos from Mamouz:
“I confine, you confine, we confine… but when is it confined?”
“If alpine skiing… who has the butter and the jam?”
“Can a psychopath be hired as a psychologist at Lustucru?”
…And so on, every day, without weakening, Julie, like a gold digger, sits in the middle of the river and stirs her sieve in the water. She always extracts a nugget.
This way of not being able to resist sharing a good word, a pirouette, a spoonerism, an incongruous image, is nothing but joy and pure generosity. It's free, without compensation, it's just about offering others a breath of fresh air and laughter, without the slightest malice. Bright people don't need to be mean and stigmatize others to exist. We leave the resentment and jealousy to the “bad idiots”, they are ultimately so unhappy, there is nothing we can do about it… too bad.
There is no secret, there is no coincidence. Generosity, tolerance, cheerfulness, non-conformism were already found in the amniotic fluid of Julie, born into a loving, united and committed family. Father and Mother were (and still are) eager for just causes. In the midst of the psychedelic proliferation of the 70s, we still kept a worried eye on the future and our feet on the ground. These parents were traveling companions of Friends of the Earth, an association founded by tutelary figures, René Dumont, Konrad Lorenz, Claude Lévy-Straus, Brice Lalonde and many others, convinced that it was necessary and It is necessary, more than ever, to protect the environment, the climate and defend human rights.
Julie took up the torch, volunteering in other associations, including the Maison des Femmes de Saint-Denis.
Julie also works in a profession which, all in all, is the echo chamber of all her convictions.
She has been a reporter since... always, or at least since the day when, as a teenager, she knew that she could not remain idle in the face of the tumult of the world. She venerates Joseph Kessel, an immense writer and reporter without borders of the caliber of Hemingway. She surely had a crush on Robert Redford - in The President's Men - playing the iconic Bob Woodward who uncovered Nixon in the Watergate scandal. So, at the turn of the year 2000, with a DESS in journalism and a diploma from the French Press Institute in hand, Julie embarked on her vocation.
Until 2018, she worked in most newsrooms (Europe 1, Elle, Marie-Claire, etc.), TV sets (LCI, France 5 columnist “Les Maternelles”, France 3 director “C’est mon chose », TFI director of “How much does it cost”, M6 journalist for “66 Minutes” and producer of “Enquêtes exclusives”, I forget…) and the most active production companies (Reservoir Prod during the time of the late Jean- Luc Delarue, Coyote with the vibrant Christophe Dechavane). In the meantime, Julie will have obtained a DEA in art history and will have contributed to the organization of humanitarian actions in Burkina Faso, to the construction of a small school in Boassa and an orphanage in Ouagadougou.
Well ! Would TV no longer be enough to quench Julie's thirst for the absolute? A formidable sounding board for the world in meltdown, TV news has been constructed to prefer turmoil and derailed trains to trains that arrive on time, full of passengers eager to transform reality, even happy.
Certainly Joseph Kessel must have whispered to Julie that “it is not necessary to travel the world, to cross ocean and jungle, to feel the charm of the clouds, the sap of the trees, the language of the rivers and the nights”.
So in March 2017, Julie launched, like one would light the last stage of a rocket – but is it really the last, I doubt it – She created Mamouz Prod, alone at the controls, but enriched by all the encounters made at the during the years of struggle. In a hub-and-spoke mode of operation, Julie can count on all these cinematographers, cameramen, friendship networks and freelance skills to develop her project. She creates, invents, produces documentaries, portraits, content intended for all media, including podcasts, so much more agile and in direct connection with real people than dinosaur TV.
In the unlikely event that her days are unoccupied, Julie also finds time to teach as Director of the MBA in Audiovisual Production at the EFAP School of Communication Professions. She obviously attaches great value to sharing her commitment and passing on her experience.
It was All Saints’ Day. I had a thought for my beloved grandmother. I hear her say to me “my little Charlotte, your girlfriend makes me dizzy, her life goes in all directions!” ". No, Grandma, for once you would be wrong, his life only goes in one direction. All the paths that Julie takes lead over the rainbow, to a single continent. This continent is called humanity. We know it well, all these paths are full of dangers and miseries. We will have to put up with other villainous viruses, stupidity in bulk and detail, wickedness, stale ideologies, blind fanaticism, dirty wars... but we firmly believe that there is a way to going from darkness to light, from Une Saison en Enfer to Illuminations , like Rimbaud, from mediocrity to panache, from sad passions to tenderness and prolonging the charm. In her quest, Julie uses four means, for some, completely insane, worse naive, but for so many others, so enchanting and stimulating: humor, derision, nuance and kindness.
From here I hear the rich laughter of the custodians of “bull-fronted stupidity”… and yet, true courage, incandescent and irrefutable, is in the hands of those who will seek until exhaustion, to bring the extremes together. And imagine that the latter, despite or rather because of their howling and their violence, are sinking into a world without solution, dried up and withdrawn into itself.
Come on, my old Sisyphus, let's load up the stones and get back there, without giving up anything. Camus states that Sisyphus never despairs and is even happy.