I always considered myself as a world or global citizen.
I grew up in a family having a mixed culture between Lebanese, German, French and American, which are very different one from each other. Furthermore, I have travelled and lived in many countries and immersed myself in diverse ways of thinking and of living. Food, humor, celebrations, languages, politics, history is how the different cultures are expressed.
Our overall education also is directly influenced by the culture in which we grow up.
Culture is an understanding of different point of views. Mixing ourselves with people from different countries is what creates diversity and a large scale of understanding of the world. What I learned during my travels, is that we are all different and that we don’t have the same believes or abilities, so our needs are different according to the place and people we are surrounded by.
When I visited Kenya in Africa, I met a community called the Maasai, who were living in the middle of the savanna and had to deal with dangerous animals on their daily life bases.
They had some relevant knowledge about it because it was the only way for them to protect themselves but also because they would view these dangerous animals as sacred. Their culture and knowledge are different from mine due to the needs of the place they live in. They had some dancing rituals, were growing their own vegetables and lived in small handmade houses. What impressed me is how fulfilled they were with what I would consider almost nothing. Their simplicity was respectable, knowing that as a French native I had more then what I needed and come from a background of over-consummation. I think the reason most of them considered themselves happy is that they don’t have materialistic culture we do have in Western countries. More infos on the Maasai tribute here. The values of this community inspired me and I wish I could transcript their emotions in a documentary in the future.
The cause I will always defend as a global citizien is the fight against racism and discrimination. We all evolve in different ways and did not decide where we were born. Being all different in this world, is in fact what makes us stronger and more savvy. Diversity is what makes the world interesting. We have to learn from each other because we all have different capacities and thoughts. Having a negative judgment on someone’s color, sexual orientation or physical traits is complete nonsense because we do not choose our physical envelope, but we do choose who we want to be or become, or how we want to behave.
Every soul contributes to the world with their differences and we tend to learn a lot from other people’s past and background. I am a global citizen because I learn when being surrounded by different people and because I use communication with others to grow my own knowledge.
I learn from the unknown and I use it over frames and stories. This is also one of the reason I like documentaries. As a filmmaker I want use what I learned during my travels and get as much information as I can from experiences of others and through research.
Furthermore, the very way we as global citizens see relationships, has changed. For our Generation it has become normal to share our lives with thousands of people online and who we talk to, become friends with or love is no longer limited to our closest friend group or the place we live. I like to share with the others my own way of thinking and also like to listen to the others point of view on various topics and ways of living. Traveling abroad is for me the best way of opening my mind and connect to earth. I like diversity and think that this is what the world is about and will be over the next generations.
I would like to now show a few examples of movies that involve different cultures and ways of understanding. Movies that inspire me and my future work:
An English documentary series called “Outside man”,I watched on Netflix in which a man experiences all types of cultures in different countries such as South Africa and Russia: link here. This movie inspired me because it reminded of the different experiences I made in different cultures.
At the moment I am actually writing a documentary, in which I would mix myself with the locals in various countries to show the way they live, show their believes and rituals. Travelling abroad to present new topics to my audience, that are not usually discussed in the medias. For example: I would like to meet people in different countries and follow them with a camera to show their daily ways of life and how they behave in different situations (birth, sexuality, opinions, relationships etc..).
Another example of a fiction series is “SENSE 8” which confronts characters coming from different places around the world.(link for more informations on the series here). This series puts in situation relationships between persons who have lived each very differently. The locations, as well as the cast is cosmopolitan and inspires me for the future projects I would like to realize.
In film making what I like the most is to mix differences in order to create variations to my stories. From a person to another the perspectives are not the same and according to it, we can create conflicts and attractions between movie characters. I have always been inspired by real life characters for my movies. As an example, I have been shooting “Through his eyes”, a movie which talks about the young population in Berlin. This was inspired by me being an exchange student in Berlin. After discovering the way Berlin community lives, I wanted to show the negative and positive points in their electronic music scene.
Finally, I would like to say that in the age of globalization we do not only tend to learn from each other but also influence each other due to the technical connection people share. Technology supports mutual understanding and can be of help to develop a clearer picture of who we are and what we want to do in life. Our thoughts reach further than ever before because they are easily accessible and so can the consequences of our actions. As a filmmaker I am very happy about this development since my goals are to reach people with my movies and to tell stories.