Note from a confined place

Screen shot taken from: Moleskine Foundation Inspiring Mornings – Simon Njami in conversation with Adama Sanneh

By: Simon Njami

Jean-Paul Sartre once said, right after the Second World War, that wars were beneficial to the mankind. This controversial statement had of course another meaning that the French philosopher explained later. What he meant was that it is only during times of heavy crisis that one reveals his true self.

“It is only during times of heavy crisis that one reveals his true self”

The Covid is among us and we all cope with it in different manners, according to who we are. Some people die, of course. But is to the living that I want to send this little note.

We tend to take everything for granted. Things are the way they are and will always be. We live through our routine forgetting to use our imagination to make every single day different. We live by rules. Maybe is it time to stop for a moment and to think.

Africa has been through many traumas that I shall not recount here. This year, malaria will cause more deaths than the Covid. And malaria is a daily struggle.

Africa is a young and lively space. It has overcome more catastrophes in its history than any other continent. Yet, it is still there, dancing, laughing, thinking and creating.

Let us all try, for this strange period of time, to be creative. An artist, who is just another human being, is probably the more equipped to face the challenges before us. Because he never takes anything for granted. Because he knows that he has to invent and reinvent. He always has to come with something new, something better, and something more elaborate. He works and think in order to make every a different.

When Picasso said if I have no blue I use green (the quote is hazardous but the sense remains), he simply meant that we have to deal with what we have, and transform it into something different.

Are we going to be able to remember these times and to change our ways? Are we going be able to transform evil into good? Ugly into beauty? This is the challenge that lies before us.

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