Bordeaux Expats https://bordeauxexpats.com A guide for the International community of Bordeaux Thu, 23 Jan 2020 12:22:33 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 https://bordeauxexpats.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/cropped-Logo-3-32x32.png Bordeaux Expats https://bordeauxexpats.com 32 32 CASTING CALL – SHORT FILM WITH PEAKY BLINDERS STAR https://bordeauxexpats.com/2020/01/casting-call-short-film-with-peaky-blinders-star.html https://bordeauxexpats.com/2020/01/casting-call-short-film-with-peaky-blinders-star.html#respond Wed, 22 Jan 2020 12:30:26 +0000 https://bordeauxexpats.com/?p=5300 Urgent casting // Paid Gig // Bordeaux For a short film with Vincent Regan (from the film the 300) and Packy Lee (from the Peaky Blinders […]

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Urgent casting // Paid Gig // Bordeaux

For a short film with Vincent Regan (from the film the 300) and Packy Lee (from the Peaky Blinders series)

The group is looking for native English speaking males, between 25 and 45 years old.

Potential candidates must be free from January 27 to 31.

If your interested, please send a recent photo & phone number by email to Cayol Sandrine – cayolsandrine@gmail.com

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GET FIT & HAVE FUN – AUSSIE STYLE https://bordeauxexpats.com/2020/01/australian-personal-training-in-bordeaux.html https://bordeauxexpats.com/2020/01/australian-personal-training-in-bordeaux.html#respond Mon, 20 Jan 2020 10:18:30 +0000 https://bordeauxexpats.com/?p=5283 Australian Personal Training in Bordeaux – Get fit, have fun & practice your English OZ-360 founder Ben Hill moved to Bordeaux in April 2018 he is […]

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Australian Personal Training in Bordeaux – Get fit, have fun & practice your English

OZ-360 founder Ben Hill moved to Bordeaux in April 2018 he is an avid surfer, golfer and ex rugby union player with a passion for human movement. Following an injury to his neck when working as a commercial diver he completed his Personal Training Cert IV in Australia, is registered with the European Union as a certified Personal Trainer and has now received his diploma as a sports coach qualified to coach in France.

When asked to explain his training business in a nutshell, Ben had this to say:

“Having held down office jobs for much of my adult life I’m acutely familiar with the issues that go along with this lifestyle. Particularly that niggling lower back pain which always seems to flare up just when you want to go for a surf or hit a few golf balls.

I endeavour to conduct all my sessions in the comfort of your own home or a close by outdoor space, the reason for this is two-fold. Most of my clients spend the whole day in an office type setting so getting outdoor is a great way to get some fresh air, invigorate the soul and the human organism.

My clients also tend to spend most of the day sitting in a chair, usually in an office or similar environment, so the last thing I would recommend is that they hit the gym to sit in a machine and push weights which could further compress the spine or potentially add to further restrictive joint mobility issues.

This style of training uses mainly body-weight or limited equipment, and many of the movements are inspired by Yoga and Pilates using proper breathing techniques which help to decompress the spine and mobilise joints. Hence it is perfect for all age groups.”

Conducted by a native English (Australian) speaker Oz-360 also offers the unique opportunity for you to practice the English language.

“At OZ-360 we believe that sustainable fitness comes not just through strength and mobility but starts with education and awareness of correct movement and common archetypes you can adopt into your daily life and routine to ensure a pain free mobile existence.”

If you are interested in trying this out to see if it may be a fit for you or just to break the monotony of your usual running routine please visit www.oz-360.com or LinkedIn to contact Ben.

Group training and corporate (specific training) sessions are also available on demand. Drop him a line.

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TU & VOUS – HOW TO DECIDE WHICH TO USE https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/10/tu-vous-how-to-decide-which-to-use.html https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/10/tu-vous-how-to-decide-which-to-use.html#respond Tue, 08 Oct 2019 15:26:43 +0000 https://bordeauxexpats.com/?p=5261 Let’s face it, coming from an non-francophone background, the formal ‘vous’ and informal ‘tu’ can be a nightmare for us Anglophones to master. Here is a […]

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Let’s face it, coming from an non-francophone background, the formal ‘vous’ and informal ‘tu’ can be a nightmare for us Anglophones to master.

Here is a great break down of how to implement both and how you can move from from ‘vous’ to ‘tu’!

Author Letty David

What is “vous” and “tu” ?

In English, whoever you’re interacting with is designated by the term “you”. In French as in other romance languages such as Italian, we have an informal term for you; which is “tu”(second person singular), and a “polite” term which is “vous” (second person plural). Although “vous” is used to designate a group of people, it is also used when speaking to anyone you don’t know or wish to show respect to.

Using “vous” is called “vouvoyer” and using “tu” is called “tutoyer”.

Whether to use “vous” or “tu”, that is the question!

Let’s start off with a nice simple rule; use “vous” to everyone except children unless they tell you that it’s OK to “tutoie” them.

Because “tu” is informal, using it incorrectly means you run the risk of insulting people. However, if you use “vous” over-enthusiastically, the worst that could happen is that people might take you for a snob which is much more easily remedied. If you’re a beginner, start off with “vous” and wait to see if the person to whom you are speaking invites you to use “tu”.

It might also be worth pointing out that “tu” is used for animals. 🙂

The following table should help you to decide how pick between “vous” and “tu”, and how to switch from the former to the latter.

Tu & Vous - Chart - When to Use

Although younger generations are becoming more relaxed about using “tu”, some (usually older) people are still old fashioned and use “vous” within their family or to their life partner even. Tutoying someone that old fashioned could be dangerous as they might even think that you were trying to flirt with them.

Meanwhile, younger more open people are starting to use “tu” more and more; if you’re in a bar, at a party, or in any informal setting, you’re more likely to get tutoyed immediately, especially by anyone under 35. Usually they don’t mean it as a sign of disrespect but as a way of breaking down the barriers and being friendly, and you can afford to tutoie them in return.

Some examples:

I’ve spent a while trying to work out how to explain how to navigate between “vous” and “tu”, and because it’s so complex, I thought some concrete examples might help illuminate it’s subtleties. Here are some of the best examples I came up with. They might give you a headache but read them over a few times and hopefully the lights will pop on in your head and you’ll get it.

My neighbour Marie-France is a 79 year old widow and we’ve become good friends over the last year and a half. For the first 4 months, we used “vous” to each other everyday. Because she’s more senior in rank than me, I wanted to wait for her to make the first move… One day she accidentally used “tu” to me twice and apologised. We were having a nice conversation so I said that I was happy for her to start tutoying me. I said this using “vous” and she immediately said that we should both tutoye each other. Ever since we’ve used tu.

My car mechanic lives across the road from us and is hoping to retire soon. He’s known Marie-France for years, but not as a personal friend; her husband used to be a customer. My garagiste vouvoies Marie-France as a sign of respect, but she uses “tu” to him as a way of showing that she likes him.

Meanwhile, I vousvoie my garagiste as a mark of respect for his rank, his age, and his work. He has recently starting tutoying me (he asked and I agreed) because I’m the same age as his daughter and it felt weird him vouvoying me, especially given the amount of time I’ve recently been spending at the garage (yep, I’m having car problems). However, I will continue using “vous” to my garagiste as a form of respect until the day that he initiates me using “tu”.

This has it’s subtleties though… My doctor is older and in a more senior job than me, and we maintain a strictly professional relationship; even though I’m a lot younger, we both vousvoie each other as a sign of mutual respect and professional courtesy.

I could come up with a trillion more examples for you, but essentially, the tu/vous dance must be treated case by case; every situation is different and therefore must be treated differently. The basic things to remember are:

  • if you get a good vibe from someone and you wouldn’t mind them using tu to you, you can always try using tu, or ask if it would be ok.
  • If you tutoie someone and they go stiff or look insulted or uncomfortable, apologise and go back to using “vous”.
  • If you want to show respect, vous is the place to start.
  • If you want someone who respects you to chill out, invite them to tutoie you.

Some key vocabulary:

Tu & Vu - Key Phrases in French

When you’re having an argument:

If you want to be rude you can use either “tu” or “vous.

If you’ve been tutoying someone but you want to insult them, suddenly changing back to “vous” will symbolise the rift between you; it’s like saying:

“we’re not the same anymore, we’re not friends, you don’t know me and I don’t know you.”

If you’ve been vousvoying someone and you want to express how annoyed you are with them, switching to “tu” is a way of dragging them down to your level, of saying;

“you’re not better than me you know, I’ve been polite to you, but I don’t respect you, and you shouldn’t treat me like I’m a lesser being because you and I are on the same level.”

When I signed up for a driving school and the director of the school automatically tutoyed me without asking, I was very insulted because I wasn’t a 15 year old like all his other students, I was an adult. I insisted on vousvoying him until the day that we got into a very heated argument in which I tutoyed him as a sign of disrespect. After the argument I went back to pointedly vousvoying him.

To conclude, using “tu” can demonstrate disrespect and contempt, which is why if you’re uncertain what to use it’s best to stick to “vous” and risk being a little too formal. As with everything, practice makes perfect, so just get out there and start assessing people and situations and seeing what works for you. Context is everything when choosing between “tu” and “vous”, so learning about French culture and social codes of conduct will help you enormously.

About the author:

Letty David - Bilingual organisational mastermind and people person par excellence.

Letty David was born and brought up in France but her family is originally British. Being bilingual but not understanding British culture at all, she wanted to learn all about it so she spent 5 years in Scotland catching up on English TV, discovering Scottish music, and bingeing on curry… She is now proud to call herself not only bilingual but bicultural. She is happy to be back in France, even though she knows that she’ll never properly fit in anywhere because she’s not 100% British or French… She is however a true European!

Letty specialises in communications, and she would be happy to connect on LinkedIn here: You can find out about her work as a photographer: www.lettydavid.com / @PhotographyLettyDavid

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NEOSHAMANS – RUBEN CARRASCO SOLO SHOW https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/09/neoshamans-ruben-carrasco-solo-art-show.html https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/09/neoshamans-ruben-carrasco-solo-art-show.html#respond Thu, 26 Sep 2019 14:06:15 +0000 https://bordeauxexpats.com/?p=5252 Ruben Carrasco is a Mexican-Canadian artist based in Montreal and is currently showing his work in a solo show at the Magnetic Art Gallery in Bordeaux. […]

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Ruben Carrasco is a Mexican-Canadian artist based in Montreal and is currently showing his work in a solo show at the Magnetic Art Gallery in Bordeaux.

He studied visual arts and graphics in both countries and started his career as a set designer producing large scale paintings for theatres, which gave him the inspiration to produce his own work on canvas and murals.

In the course of his professional experience he has also been active as a producer, and the co-founder of IPAF festival, and beforehand he explored other ways of creativity working as a tattoo artist, photographer, designer and a digital artist.

Ruben Carrasco - Bordeaux

Ruben has participated in solo and group shows, festivals, biennials and presentations in South Africa, China, Italy, Germany, Spain, France, Belize, Cuba, United States, Israel, Mexico and Canada.

“I have always been curious and interested in history, traditions, metaphysics, science and the development of philosophical ideas, mainly topics related to human behaviour and the complexity of our interaction with nature. The “Neoshamans” series appear as the result of this informal approach to those concepts.”

The current exhibition of Ruben Carrasco at Magnetic Art gallery offers a new series of artworks tend to a universal narrative that offers enough room to expand or distort the multiple conclusions we can recreate through our personal life experiences and ways of perception.

Ruben Carrasco - Bordeaux

The gallery is showcasing a varied exhibition of artworks that includes an installation, original paintings, drawings, limited edition prints and his most recent mural “Last Forest Dreamer” until October 12th.

This body of work is composed mostly by paintings of chromatic and bi-chromatic scenes of animals interacting with neoshamans characters which are wearing costumes that fusion technological elements with organic tribal objects. This hybrid look represents the dispute and the conciliation between the pragmatism of science and the spiritual world of ancestral traditions as a sort of “new ways of faith” or the last hope to heal nature, but also revealing the loss of control caused by their own human condition.

WHERE: Magnetic Art gallery – 1 Place Avisseau 33300 Bordeaux
WHEN: Until October 12th, 2019
HOURS: Wednesday to Saturday – 14h – 19h

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THE ROBOTS HAVE ARRIVED AT CAP SCIENCES https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/08/robots-exhibition-cap-sciences.html https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/08/robots-exhibition-cap-sciences.html#respond Mon, 05 Aug 2019 15:01:17 +0000 https://bordeauxexpats.com/?p=5233 Useful, disturbing, indispensable, insensitive: Robots intimidate as much as they fascinate. The robots have arrived at Cap Sciences in Bordeaux, come and explore this new revolution! […]

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Useful, disturbing, indispensable, insensitive: Robots intimidate as much as they fascinate. The robots have arrived at Cap Sciences in Bordeaux, come and explore this new revolution!

Over the last few decades we have seen technological progress with the appearance of autonomous robots that aimed to assist humans in daily life. Now with the introduction of AI we are experiencing the future with robots playing roles in the household, industry and collaborative.

Ever present in our lives, from the cinema to literature and music, robots are not just a cultural symbol. The coming years will determine the relationship that we have with them and the position that they will take in our existence. So, will they replace us?

Expo Robots - Cap Sciences Bordeaux

Play a part in this ethical debate and delve into these intriguing challenges that have been put in motion by Pepper, Nao, Cozmo and other Robotic counterparts.

All audiences / above 7 years old
Visit Duration: 1hr 30min
#RobotsBdx @capsciences
Bilingual exhibition French / English

WHERECap Sciences, Hangar 20, Quai de Bacalan, 33300 Bordeaux

WHEN10th July 2019 until 3rd May 2020
Tuesday to Friday 2pm – 6pm
Saturday & Sunday 2pm – 7pm
Every day during school holidays

COST: 
Full price : €9
Discount price : €6.50
Online reservations and ticket purchases are available at: cap-sciences.net

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COUSIN ET COMPAGNIE – NATURAL WINE CELLAR https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/07/cousin-et-compagnie-natural-wine-cellar.html https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/07/cousin-et-compagnie-natural-wine-cellar.html#respond Fri, 26 Jul 2019 10:02:05 +0000 https://bordeauxexpats.com/?p=5214 Founded in 1993 by 2 Danish expatriates and cousins, Cousin et Compagnie is one of the oldest wine shops of the historical Bordeaux, and one of […]

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Founded in 1993 by 2 Danish expatriates and cousins, Cousin et Compagnie is one of the oldest wine shops of the historical Bordeaux, and one of the first who started to speak about bio-dynamic or natural wines in the city.

Truly committed to the preservation of their natural patrimony, they are convinced at Cousin et Compagnie that it also comes through their practices in the vineyards as well as in the cellar. Therefore, their range is composed for 90% of organic, biodynamic or natural wines from small-batches productions.

Stopping by Cousin et Compagnie’s means to unearth gem wines from all over the country and from abroad, from the prestigious Classified Growths to the narrow and unknown family run estates. Novices or connoisseurs, everyone will find what they want, helped by the very open and knowledgeable staff.

NATURAL WINE CELLAR BORDEAUX NATURAL WINE CELLAR BORDEAUX

Cousin et Compagnie is not only a wine shop, you might be alone or a group and whatever budget or time you are willing to spend, Cousin et Compagnie is able to welcome you every day for short commented tastings or private tastings and wine dinners in hidden places of the historical Bordeaux, on reservation.

In addition, every Saturday at 12h, an introduction to the tasting of 4 great wines of Bordeaux in an 18th century lounge for 2 hours of exchange and sharing around emblematic areas of the region.

But also, throughout the summer until the end of September, every Monday at 18h and Tuesdays at 11:30, Cousin et Compagnie will take you aboard its cruise over the wine for 1h30 tasting of great Bordeaux wines and local products. under the sign of conviviality and good humour.

  COUSIN ET COMPAGNIE – WINE BOAT CRUISE IN BORDEAUX COUSIN ET COMPAGNIE – WINE BOAT CRUISE IN BORDEAUX COUSIN ET COMPAGNIE – WINE BOAT CRUISE IN BORDEAUX

Tastings, wine dinners, events, wine cruises or worldwide shipping, everything is possible at Cousin et Compagnie’s, where there is always a glass of wine waiting for you and where friendship and fellowship are the key words, every single day of the week, all year long from 10am to 10pm.

WHERE: Cousin et Compagnie, 2 Rue du Pas-Saint-Georges, 33000 Bordeaux

https://www.facebook.com/CousinandCo/

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LEARN FRENCH BY LISTENING TO THE RADIO https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/05/learn-french-by-listening-to-the-radio.html https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/05/learn-french-by-listening-to-the-radio.html#respond Tue, 14 May 2019 11:08:19 +0000 https://bordeauxexpats.com/?p=5176 If you’re new to France, struggling to learn French, or trying to understand the culture, we highly recommend that you start listening to French radio. It’s […]

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If you’re new to France, struggling to learn French, or trying to understand the culture, we highly recommend that you start listening to French radio.

It’s a great way of injecting French popular culture into your day, during your commute, workout, or downtime, and will provide you with something to talk about with French people.

Here is a selection of hits you’ll hear on the radio this spring. Try reading the lyrics while you listen, and practice translating them to boost your French skills.

Author Letty David

Patrick Fiori – Les gens qu’on aime

Written and composed for Patrick Fiori by Jean Jacques Goldman (known for 1982 “Quand la musique est bonne” which is still a cult dance track), this catchy song has a lovely message. We’ll be humming it all summer. Goldman makes a cameo appearance in the official video clip; see if you can spot him.

 

Maître Gims – Miami Vice

Aside from his work with Sexion D’assaut, Maitre Gims’ voice has enlivened French radio with many solo hits including “J’me Tire” (2013) and “Sapés comme jamais” (2015). Miami Vice is is his latest release.

 

Zaz – Demain C’est Toi

Her first single “Je Veux” (2010) made Zaz famous and is a radio classic that you’ll hear while walking round the supermarket. “Demain C’est Toi” is a hauntingly beautiful track from her new album “Effet Miroir”.

 

Angèle – Balance Ton Quoi

Referencing the #MeToo movement (called #BalanceTonPorc in France), 22 year old Angèle’s upbeat song is a feminist anthem whose video clip is a hilarious comment about the patriarchy.

 

Clara Luciani – La Grenade

Another rising star in the French music industry, Clara Luciani’s lyrics in “La Grenade” are a battle cry for all women.

 

Jenifer – Slimane, Les Choses Simples

Since winning the first season of “La Star Academy” in 2002, Jenifer has released many hit songs and been a coach on “The Voice”. For “Les Choses Simples”, she collaborated with Slimane (who won “The Voice” in 2016).

 

Calogero – On se sait par cœur

The video clip for “On se sait par cœur” was filmed live at the Olympia in Paris during Calogero’s hugely successful “Liberté Chérie” tour.

 

Kendji Girac, Claudio Capéo – Que Dieu me Pardonne

“Que Dieu me Pardonne”’s gypsy-pop vibe reunites two singers from “The Voice” whose budding friendship could lead to even greater musical achievements.

 

Patrick Bruel – Pas Eu Le Temps

A veteran French star of stage and screen, Patrick Bruel’s latest song is a melancholic yet upbeat reflection on the passage of time.

 

Maëlle – Toutes Les Machines ont un Coeur

In 2018, Maëlle was the first female winner of “The Voice” at only 17. Her first single was composed by Calogero and questions our technology-dependant society, reminding us that behind each screen is a human being.

About the author:

Letty David - Bilingual organisational mastermind and people person par excellence.

Letty David was born and brought up in France but her family is originally British. Being bilingual but not understanding British culture at all, she wanted to learn all about it so she spent 5 years in Scotland catching up on English TV, discovering Scottish music, and bingeing on curry… She is now proud to call herself not only bilingual but bicultural. She is happy to be back in France, even though she knows that she’ll never properly fit in anywhere because she’s not 100% British or French… She is however a true European!

Letty specialises in communications, and she would be happy to connect on LinkedIn here: You can find out about her work as a photographer: www.lettydavid.com / @PhotographyLettyDavid

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SANCTUARY SURF – GLAMPING IN THE MÉDOC https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/05/sanctuary-surf-glamping-in-the-medoc.html https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/05/sanctuary-surf-glamping-in-the-medoc.html#respond Thu, 09 May 2019 10:30:33 +0000 https://bordeauxexpats.com/?p=5135 James & Olly are two mates from Uni in England who both ended up in Bordeaux 7 years ago. When they’re not building and delivering the […]

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James & Olly are two mates from Uni in England who both ended up in Bordeaux 7 years ago. When they’re not building and delivering the slickest Glamping holidays around, they’re lecturing in Business Schools around town.

They love living in the city but since their arrival they’ve always looked to get out and explore the region. But after they had driven through the Médoc’s “Route des Châteaux” and ended up on the empty dunes looking over the Atlantic coast, they knew it had to be shared and that this is where they would eventually set up shop.

Plage du Pin Sec - Beach near Bordeaux

Back in 2008, they became close friends thanks to their involvement with their Uni’s ski society, organising the annual student ski trip to the Alps. After graduation, not convinced by the choice of Grad’ schemes on offer, they both jumped ship to South West France in 2012 following years-abroad in Paris and Nice respectively.

With the Atlantic ocean on their doorstep it was inevitable that they should try to transpose their ski/boarding skills into surfing, but they never expected to get hooked on the sport so easily, let alone build a surf camp!

Check out this great Surf Guide to waves in France!

For the first few years living in Bordeaux they would take any free time off from the freelance teaching gigs to head back to the waves.

Within 1h15 there are so many spots within reach of the city. Although this sounded like a lot to Brits, driving in the French countryside is a genuine pleasure and time on the road flies by.

Sanctuary Surf - Map Medoc

Learn more about where the are location: www.sanctuary.surf/where

A little throwback to their early surf days. 7 years ago when they arrived in Bordeaux.

It was exactly on one of these trips back from a mid-week session when full of post-surf buzz they asked themselves “Why can’t we do this everyday?”.

“Let’s start a surf camp!”

“It’s been done” Came the reply.

“Yeah but not with the home comforts we’re used to…..”

“It’s always nice to go home after a surf to chill, but instead of going home, why not take all the best aspects of home and bring them to the surf?”.

The rest as they say, is history… From there onwards they made the most of every drive to their surf sessions to develop the concept.

Over the next four years and after much discussion and fine tuning they arrive where they are today: making their idea a reality, being in the position to actually offer what they have been planning for so long, and most importantly, living what we love doing…

SANCTUARY SURF - Camping in the Medoc near Bordeaux

They built Sanctuary Surf to share “The best France has to offer” for those travelling from abroad (outside France). But they are still surprised today how undiscovered this area of the region is to people from Bordeaux, whether native or Expat.

That’s why James & Olly want to welcome new guests and we have put together some special offers for the Bordeaux Expat Community

2 NIGHTS FULL-BOARD ONLY €139 pp

We have put the first weekend of June aside exclusively for Bordeaux Expats so get booking!

They can’t wait to see you at Sanctuary Surf this summer!

SANCTUARY SURF - James & Olly

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INTERVIEW WITH STREET ARTIST – JEAN ROOBLE https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/05/interview-street-artist-jean-rooble.html https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/05/interview-street-artist-jean-rooble.html#comments Mon, 06 May 2019 11:51:05 +0000 https://bordeauxexpats.com/?p=5120 Jean Rooble is a talented street artist from Bordeaux. He has created murals across the globe, and we wanted to know more about this artist that […]

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Jean Rooble is a talented street artist from Bordeaux. He has created murals across the globe, and we wanted to know more about this artist that manages to create super life-like works using only spraycans.

Bordeaux Expats took a break to have a chat to Jean Rooble about his influences, the cultural climate in Bordeaux and how it adds up to other international cities…

Check it….

Who are you ? And where are you from ?

My name is Jean Rooble, I am an artist, I am 38 years old, I live and work in Bordeaux.

Jean Rooble… obviously the tag you go by. Where did it come from?

Like all my nicknames, I found ROOBLE by tagging on a piece of paper … I have always liked when the letters have a “flow” and the words have meaning. It became “Jean Rooble” over time.

What are your main influences – art and otherwise ?

My main influences and origin of my painting are the graffiti and the hip-hop culture that I discovered in the mid-90s . However, I am influenced by many artists, illustrators, painters and graffiti artists. I am influenced more and more by muralism, something that I want to tackle further .
I’m also motivated by a lot of photographers, mainly analogue, and I’m a big fan of music.

Can you remember the first time you picked up a spray can, and what you created ?

It must have been in 1997/98 in my parents’ garage … My first lines must still be there, but the first time I ventured out to do some colour lettering it was in 1998, in a vacant lot next to my house. There’s no trace of it now!

Your technique is extremely lifelike. How have you developed this over the years?

I am self-taught, so learning has been long and tedious. I started with portraits in a single colour range, trying to master the shape and the volume. Then I tried to reproduce the nuances of skin and smaller and smaller details. With the evolution of spray-paints, low pressure, new colours, as well as the adoption of the “stencil cap” technique allowed me to push realism. The rest is stubbornness…

Teaser Le M.U.R. de Bordeaux Performance #40 // Rooble from We Want Art! WebTV on Vimeo.

How have you seen street art in Bordeaux, and Bordeaux City, develop over the years?

I started in the late ’90s and the city had a different face: no tram, no bridge after the les hangars de Saint-Louis (Chartrons) and there was wasteland nearby. The city was covered with tags and for me street-art was all about posters and stencils.

So, I started to appreciate graffiti because it was still present in the city. There were frescoes made by many active collectives and you could find chrome and tags everywhere.

Then the tram arrived and the big clean up started.

There are (fortunately) still active graffiti artists in the city center, but anything that displeases the cleaning services disappears in a few days.

In short, as most French cities, graffiti (tags, lettering, stencils) have largely been erased and there is a a systematic cleaning of downtown and surrounding areas. So now we see a new generation of artists, graffiti artists or street-artists, get involved. They are better accepted because their work is often more figurative, colourful and easily understood by the general public.

How do you rate street art culture in Bordeaux and France? How does it compare to other cities from around the world?

Difficult question… Bordeaux remains a small French town, clean and quiet. It’s artistic culture resembles the soul of the city. The same goes for the “street-culture” here. However, Bordeaux has always been a pleasant place to live and there are many artists who come from here. Some head out and work aboard, but many continue to work locally to promote the local ‘know-how’.

Favourite place to chill in Bordeaux?
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Institut Culturel Bernard Magrez - Jean Rooble

You’ve recently exhibited at the Institut Culturel Bernard Magrez for your show “Zone Blanche”. How was the experience?

It was a great experience! It’s been a while since I wanted to do my first solo show. It enabled me to spend 6 months in my workshop developing an exclusive series. Over this time, I was able to really work with material, framing and evolving my technique. It was exhausting but so addictive. Then to be guided by such a professional and pleasant team was a luxury! I am delighted with the rendition and set design, with the opening being a huge success with over 1200 visitors !! It was crazy!

How do you feel about the movement of street art into galleries?

I am asked this question very often, but I like to remember there are many artists out there. Even if our art was born on the street, our practices, influences and goals are all different.

When I started, I didn’t imagine becoming a professional and being able to live off my painting.

In my opinion, it’s not about not being pure to the art form just because we have put it in a frame. It’s more about if we continue to evolve despite that?

Personally, I don’t put importance on this. There are always new artists who appear and who do this just for the sake of their art. Or perhaps, it’s just to find their place in society that moves at a million miles an hour.

If a creation or the artist is sincere, where their art is displayed doesn’t change much for me.

Where can we find your work and get in contact with you?

Facebook, Instagram and my website – www.jeanrooble.fr

Jean Rooble’s work is on exhibition until the 19th May 2019, at the Institut Culturel Bernard Magrez, 16 rue de Tivoli, Bordeaux.

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FROM THE CLASSROOM TO THE COAST – JAMES MARTIN https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/05/expat-interview-james-martin-sanctuary-surf.html https://bordeauxexpats.com/2019/05/expat-interview-james-martin-sanctuary-surf.html#respond Thu, 02 May 2019 09:40:49 +0000 https://bordeauxexpats.com/?p=5108 James Martin is an Englishman balancing time between being a teacher and a surfcamp founder in Bordeaux. With these two activities, he has managed to find […]

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James Martin is an Englishman balancing time between being a teacher and a surfcamp founder in Bordeaux. With these two activities, he has managed to find the perfect harmony of life between the city and the coast.

Bordeaux has been James’s home for the past 7 years, but his connection to region goes back much further. He was born, raised and studied in England, but spent every summer and school holidays in France as his father lived in the Médoc most of his life.  So, he’s been flying to and from Bordeaux since the days when British Airways only had 1 flight per week on a Saturday, compared to up to 15 per day from the UK in peak season now.

He says that he was lucky to grow up exposed to both cultures, and try to take the best of both worlds.

“I understand ‘la belle vie’ and don’t just love but respect food, merci La France. But you can’t shake off the politeness, efficiency and GSOH that comes from being a Brit”.

After working for a couple of years in France before, and during uni, straight out of an International Business degree James headed back in 2012 to start his “career” and to avoid a soulless graduate scheme in some satellite town of London.

Getting into teaching…

Like many other fresh Expats, he started in Bordeaux with the English teaching gig: working freelance for agencies, being expected to work like an employee without the perks.

“I thought I was balling to begin with: “Ohhhh €15-20 per hour, that’s much more than minimum wage !!! Get in!” I would convince myself: not factoring in travel time, lesson planning, no holiday pay and extremely limited social security”.

The precarity and pittance soon pushed him to up his game. He managed to sneak a foot in the door of a business school and has since developed his activity to lecturing in 4 different schools with over 450 students per year.

These days it’s less and less English teaching, with many classes of his classes focusing on Web Marketing, Digital Strategy and Change Management with regular but impromptu “lessons” on what perplexes many students here: respect, work-ethic and speaking because you have something to say, not because you have to say something.

“I genuinely do love teaching though and never expected to become a teacher. It allows you to meet people from all walks of life and to really understand how people live here in Bordeaux. When starting off working with “particuliers” I worked with ages ranging from 7 to 77!

Higher education works differently in France to the Anglo-saxon system however. In a nutshell, on the one hand you can go to public uni which is basically free but you may struggle to get a seat in the amphitheatre, your teacher will rarely know your name and you can expect months off at a time due to strikes. This might explain the 50% dropout rate after 1st year?

On the other hand, you’ve got private business schools where either you work on apprenticeship (“Alternance”) and your company pays for your studies (and gets you as cheap labour), or your rents stump up the hefty tuition fees without government loans etc like in the UK (there’s also the grand-ecole system but we’ll save that for another day…)”.

Nowadays, he only work with young “adults” between 18-25 in private business schools. The interactions are priceless and he can easily see how to manage/enjoy the more difficult egos.

“You’ve got the archetypal blasé bourgeois kid repeating his 2nd year for the third time, always late except for at the end of lesson when his coat is on and bag is packed with 10 minutes left. Just like the ones who drop Verlan and Arabic in convo saying “ouech” like their “frères” in the banlieue, but themselves have two good catholic first names, the first one is Jean, the second either Pierre, Paul, François or Baptiste. I’m guessing they don’t speak like that during Sunday lunch with the family at the weekend house in the Bassin however”.

But for every one of these clichés, he has come across even more top-notch hard-working and ambitious students, some of whom have become his close friends and really makes his job worthwhile.

From the classroom to the coast…

For all the peaks and troughs of the classroom, the teaching gig only represents 8 months of the year. Thanks to the ridiculously long summer holidays, from April to September you can find James up on the Médoc coast where for 3 years, he and his best mate from uni, have been running an active glamping holiday operator, “Sanctuary Surf”.

They’re located just next to Plage Le Pin Sec near Hourtin, a wild beach with only basic amenities meaning you avoid the hoards in Lacanau and the Bassin.

The concept is to offer the hotel experience under canvas, showcasing the best France has to offer in terms of food, drink (wine) & nature, whilst providing access to surfing on Europe’s longest beaches & standup paddle boarding on the country’s largest freshwater lake.

If good vibes, having fun in the sun, being outdoors and enjoying fine cuisine appeal. Escape the city for the weekend and join them out in their little corner of paradise.

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