The decision to paint about terrorism and its effect on the mind, soul & feelings on the general public rose during a stay in Brussels, in May 2016, while passing through Maelbeek underground station only a few days after the attack the city had underwent. As the train slowed down, and went through the 2 huge black curtains that were modestly covering the remains of the horror, everyone shut up. It reminded Marie-Aude of watching people suddenly shut up in Moscow when they would walk by the Lubianka prison. There, she felt in her living cells the spiritual and physical need to translate these emotions and feelings.
This got confirmed in New York as she returned to the Twin Towers former headquarters. The towers she had once seen were gone, living a huge scar in the city, but the soul of New York remains, as well as that of Paris, London, Brussels, Berlin, etc. People carry on living all over the world. They live, but fear of losing a beloved or our own life is never far from the surface.
She was on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice on July 14 only two hours before the truck hit the crowd. She also was in NYC when the December 2017 occured.
With friends & family spread in major cities worldwide, Marie-Aude wishes via « Manifesto » to humbly pay tribute to all victims, past and future, as well as salute the courage of all who resist fear by carry on living their life with the hope that one day this will end.
A French national with Italian roots who gained a Ph.D. in Russian literature in England, Marie-Aude Honorat has lived in Lviv (Ukraine), Brussels (Belgium), Manchester (the U.K.) & Montreal (Canada). She now commutes to New York frequently. Born in Nice & raised in Cannes (French Riviera), a cosmopolitan fond of xenophilia since for ever, Marie-Aude Saint Michel has always been passionnate about the notion of resilience, which she herself experienced.
The notion of resistance and martyrdom always fascinated her, perhaps because her parents used to help Polish refugees in her childhood. At 16 she experienced a turning point with the visit of Auschwitz and Jerusalem. Something clicked : how could human beings dedicate their intelligence at wiping out others ? How could they reduce to ashes their peers, even children ? How could monotheistic people not gather but live with a wall amongst them ? At her return she met with Holocaust survivor Mieczysław Grajewsk aka Martin Gray. Her listening to the testimony of the American-French author born a Polish jew was decisive. It was not an encounter with books, or places, but with a living person. Years later she dedicated 4 years of her life to study Russian Gulag and met with eminent dissidents such as Vladimir Bukovsky & Natalia Gorbanevskaya. Her work at the Ukrainian Catholic University with former diplomat Antoine Arjakovsky and Bishop Harvard educated Borys Gudziak was another turn in her life. She saw the consequences of terror on a civil society which still aims at rebuilding itself, yet faces war and struggles with history. She also saw how goodwill can pave the way to reconciliation via the combined work of French born with Russian root Arjakovsky and American born with Ukrainian roots Gudziak.
Humans destroy but humans can rebuild.
Humans may suffer but they may resurect from terror.