Biased? Certainly. But I’m Working on It
A conversation with Dr. Violetta Zujovic, Neuroscientist at the Paris Brain Institute
Talk at FIAF and meeting with Violetta Zujovic and Alyse Nelson
New York | March 15th | Decoding Gender Bias | Register Here
Everything that follows in this post is biased.
I would like to write you the opposite, to reassure you, even to convince you of the authenticity of my words. But in the interests of sincerest dishonesty, and according to Violetta Zujovic, a doctor in neuroscience and team leader at the Paris Brain Institute, I am biased.
I might as well accept it. Besides, I am not the only one. “We all are,” Violetta explains.
“Everything around us is a reproduction that our brain creates to simplify our lives,” Violetta tells me. “Our brain spends its time storing information and sometimes reconstructing a reality that is sometimes an illusion.”
By simplifying, taking shortcuts, analyzing, and judging the other as quickly as possible, our conclusions are not based on the reality of a person or a situation. Instead they are the result of a narrowed perception influenced by our experiences, our culture, and our education.
I believe that I should also share here the motivation and context of this paper.
Listen to the Women and Girls of Iran
It was gigantic and staring at me. Everyone around seemed as mesmerized by it as I was: an eye, wide open. It was staring at the sky, too, and it covered most of the steps of Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park at the far end of the oblong Roosevelt Island on the East River, an unlikely urban cable car stop away from Manhattan. In the background, lurking in the shadows, stood the 39-story United Nations building, proud and self-confident.
In that park, at the bottom of the steps that morning of November 28, 2022, every spoken word and every single stare were targeted at the United Nations, at the United Nations and Iran.
Entretien avec Bernard-Henri Lévy, à l’occasion de la première américaine à New York de son film
Une Autre Idée du Monde—The Will to See à New York le 16 janvier 2022.
Jump to the English version of this post below: Click Here
À la fin de l’année 2019, Bernard-Henri Lévy rentre du Nigeria avec un reportage d’une force rare. Il décrit les actes meurtriers, odieux et terroristes d’un groupe « plus ou moins liés à Boko Haram », « des islamistes d’un genre nouveau » : les Fulanis. De village en village, ils attaquent, brulent et assassinent les Chrétiens du Nigeria. Bernard-Henri Lévy nous présente une de leurs récentes victimes, Jumai Victor. Cette femme, « une évangéliste », se recueille sur une tombe, celle de son mari et de ses quatre enfants assassinés. Elle survit à cette attaque. Enceinte, les Fulanis ont épargné sa vie, mais certains d’entre eux lui ont tranché, l’un après l’autre, les doigts, puis la main et l’avant-bras.
The Masked-Life of a Maestro in Times of Covid-19
Part Two of a digital conversation with Keri-Lynn Wilson presented by The American Friends of the Paris Opera and Ballet
Access to the full video of the webinar at the bottom of the post.
For a year now, governments—and often doctors—have redesigned how people can live to combat and survive the Covid-19 pandemic. In some regions, entire sectors have sometimes been shut down: travels, restaurants, hotels, and sport arenas, but also bookstores, museums, theaters, concert halls, and opera houses. Culture and art often don’t fall into the lines of the iconic contemporary word: ‘essential.’
Remarkably though, the Paris Opera was opened for a few weeks in the Fall of 2020. Hopes were then high in France that Covid-19 was being contained, yet it came back with a revenge. While rehearsing Carmen for her debut at the Bastille Opera, Maestro Keri-Lynn Wilson experienced it first-hand. Within a minute, rehearsals were halted, and the opera shut down by the French Government. The same happened for movie theaters, museums, bars, and restaurants.
Wilson’s dream of conducting in Paris was postponed. So, she went back to New York and resumed what she had been doing since March 2020: sharing music online and studying new scores. She created a ‘Becoming the Conductor Series,’ on Instagram, launched a YouTube Channel, built her own playlist on Spotify, and shared many videos and recordings on her website.
Letter to Angella Nazarian
On the eve of Visionary Women Summit 2021 – https://www.visionarywomen.com
(Quotes below, unless in italics, are invented, and the attribution to people is purely fictional)
Do you remember the cobblestone streets of Coyoacán in Mexico City, a far cry from the busy double deck jammed highways that drive across the megalopolis? I am sure you remember the first time you pushed the double green doors of the Blue House—Casa Azul, the home of Frida Kahlo. I do, and I have returned there so often.