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.
At Your Home, Without Me: Ramatuelle, Jacqueline Franjou’s Essential Festival
Tonight, August 1st, 2020–and until August 10th. If you are in Ramatuelle, a little village above the Mediterranean Sea near Saint Tropez in the South of France, you might be among the luckiest people. While almost all summer cultural events have been canceled in France, Jacqueline Franjou is opening the 2020 Festival of Ramatuelle, a series of plays, stand-up comedies, and concerts under the stars and the songs of crickets. A must attend annual event, a rarity this year.
This summery feast has been scheduled every August since 1985. But with movies, theaters, operas and museums still closed in most places around the world because of containment and a very much still present covid19 pandemic, the mere possibility to see comedians and musicians on a stage has become an extraordinary experience. This year’s Festival is an act of audacity and resistance, against all odds, a small, yet safe step to keep us on the pace of being humans, together.
I was fortunate to attend last summer and I remember fondly the performance of French actor Gérard Depardieu (Golden Globe 1991 for Peter Weir’s movie Green Card) sing Barbara’s most iconic songs in a soft and elusive voice.
I cannot go this summer but will have a special thought for Franjou, the co-founder and President of this Festival, a woman I was lucky enough to work with for a few years and who has never been afraid to be disruptive to keep all of us thinking beyond the obvious. We need this festival, we need culture to fill our hopes and dreams, we need words and scores and stories to pave our immediate future.
Next is the translation from a French interview I did with Franjou while I was still confined in New York and she was already planning this week’s performances (published in Le Petit Journal).
At Your Home Without Me with Vanessa Serrano
Confined Bodies, but Free Souls. At Last
‘When I bared my soul it seems you did not hear‘
Joe Jackson | Body and Soul
Singer and songwriter Erykah Badu recently posted on Instagram a drawing of a person seated in a lotus position. “If you can’t go outside,” the caption read, “go inside.”
“A sound advice,” wrote Diane Von Furstenberg who shared the post @therealdvf.
‘If you can’t go outside, go inside’ is exactly what Mexican author and entrepreneur Vanessa Serrano—who has developed her professional work as a path to search for her own purpose—invites people to focus on.
“I believe we should take today’s opportunity to observe our minds,” Vanessa told me in a phone interview.
To ease people’s confinement, Serrano has created a series of free online sessions in Spanish called Healing Detox and Spiritual Awakening.
WOMEN CAN HAVE IT ALL | SERIES | THE THREE SINS OF MAYRA GONZALEZ
A manager at Nissan Mexico once told Mayra González that she was very talented and would have a great career in the industry, but “you have three sins,” he added: “You are young; you are a woman; and you are Mexican.”
Fast forward more than 15 years: Mayra González was eventually promoted in 2016 at age 39 to the top job at the Japanese car company’s fourth largest business unit, thus inducted to the very exclusive club of female CEOs, a mere three years after Mary Barra became the first woman appointed CEO at General Motors.
WOMEN CAN HAVE IT ALL | SERIES | MAYRA GONZALEZ, CEO DE NISSAN MEXICO, RESPONDE A SU HIJA
En su revolucionario libro sobre las mujeres Elige Todo, Nathalie Loiseau, una de las diplomáticas de mayor jerarquía en Francia, y madre de cuatro niños, escribió: “Recuerdo la ironía con la que se decía que, de niña, yo quería tenerlo todo”.
Actualmente sirve en el gobierno del presidente francés Macron como Ministra de Asuntos Europeos, Loiseau agregó: “Pobre ingenua: ingenua por quererlo, ingenua por creer que era posible e ingenua por expresarlo. Sigo siendo ingenua y estoy orgullosa de ello. Tenerlo todo; vivir la vida plenamente; no rendirse antes de empezar: Quisiera que esto fuera posible para todas las mujeres”.
‘Ingenua’? La directora general de Nissan México, Mayra González, también es una de las mujeres que quiere tener todo.