During ”Petit Dictionnaire Poétique des Mots Oubliés”, I presented to passerby in the streets some old french words to look at ; like ”Bacbuc”, ”Esquipot”, ”Jocrisse” or ”Mache-Laurier” . They were then asked to invent their own definitions of the word. Often times, many participants would debate over their own definitions of the word. Then, they could read the definitions of previous participants and a discussion followed on those discussions. Finally, they were allowed to read the actual definition. These exchanges ended up rethinking the french language and how it evolved, the weight we give to words in our society, the racism and sexism that plague the french language. It became an amazing tool for deep social analysis.
”Petit Dictionnaire Poétique des Mots Oubliés” is an artistic project during a residency with Exeko Métissage Urbain. The idea originated during the 2018 Festival International de Littérature de Montréal when Isabelle Anguita and I were looking for a new activity to connect people with litterature. In 2019, I reused the idea to create a complete project, helped by Mathieu Riel and Ducakis Dessinat.
”Petit Dictionnaire Poétique des Mots Oubliés” is a creative and inclusive collaboration between citizens. The meetings happened during la Nuit des Sans Abris (Hochelaga Maisonneuve), with the organisations Dans la Rue, Projet Autochtones du Québec and at the Parc and Côte-des-Neiges subway stations.
To see some interactions between Simon and some participants, you can listen to Kabak, a short movie by KIJÂTAI-ALEXANDRA VEILLETTE-CHEEZO. They captured some fantastic moment of the project during the filming of her movie.
Click here. Start at 2min39