I shall not rest (after the Paris attacks, November 14th)

I am a very lucky person. If things go according to plan, I will be able to submit my habilitation in 2016. It turned out very recently that my research of the last 10 years is rich enough to be submitted as an habilitation à diriger des recherches in France. It even turned out that the one person I would like to have as the supervisor of a work that I wish to handle on a fairly theoretical level agrees to do so. And it also turns out that my articles suffice and I don’t have to reach in an additional unedited monograph.

As a lucky person (all the more lucky as the day of research reports with my PhD candidates went well and their PhD theses are really beginning to feel like theses – which I was desperately hoping for a year ago), I sat and began to put some order in my articles yesterday evening (as advised by my supervisor) and classify them. The classification had been maturing in my head for the last 3 days. I only had to write it down and press the “send” button. After having done so, it was shortly after 9:30, and I thought I was heading straight to bed.

But shortly after 9:30 yesterday, I did not go to bed in the end. For hours, I stared at my computer screen, watching the Paris attacks through tweets, hangouts and news threads. When I had finally  reached all my family members, my thought moved away to another one, namely: This is what the people at the camp are experiencing on a daily basis. I know this especially from the Syrians and their worry to contact, all of a sudden, everyone they know in town after a bombing.

This is not a life. This is pure alienation, alienation to violence.

The night was hard, today was hard. But it was not as hard as after the Charlie attack. Because after Charlie, I felt like there was nothing I could do to help anyone  in any way. And now, there is this one thing I can do: send the refugee kids to school.

I am taking 5 Afghan kids to their school for the first time on Tuesday. And I will still be there after that, for each one of them needing me to show them the way. I shall not rest until they all are at school, and I mean it.

Anne Baillot

I am a Professor of German Studies at Le Mans Université. My areas of research include German literature, Digital Humanities, textual scholarship and intellectual history.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search