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Arne Næss, for a Joyful Ecology (“Arne Næss, pour une écologie joyeuse”), by Mathilde Ramadier
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Arne Næss, for a Joyful Ecology (“Arne Næss, pour une écologie joyeuse”), by Mathilde Ramadier

Mathilde Ramadier offers a rich and inspiring essay on Arne Næss, the Norwegian ecologist who advocated for the universal rights of all forms of life. A subject that remains relevant and yet to be fully explored.

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Mathilde Ramadier

An essayist and graphic novelist, born in 1987 in Drôme, today Mathilde Ramadier works in Berlin.

 

Curious and always eager to learn, she is both a graduate of the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts appliqués et des Métiers d’Art de Paris [The Paris National Higher School of Applied Arts and Art Trades] and holds a master’s degree in contemporary philosophy (École Normale Supérieure / École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, 2011).

 

Mathilde Ramadier is the author of graphic novels – Berlin 2.0 (2011) and And He Treads Lightly Upon The Earth (“Et il foula la terre avec légèreté”) (2017) – the comics Sartre (2015), and Syncopated Dreams (“Rêves syncopés“) (2013) – as well as the essay Welcome to the New World – How I survived start-up coolness (“Bienvenue dans le nouveau monde – Comment j’ai survécu à la coolitude des start-ups”) published in 2017.

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A committed and joyful ecologist

 

Arne Næss, for a Joyful Ecology (2017), is an essay on the life of Arne Næss (1912-2009), a Norwegian ecologist, mountaineer and philosopher. In the 1970s, Arne Næss began his work on ecology by imagining the concept of "deep ecology", a philosophy that advocates harmony between people and nature, without dogmatism or extremism, in joy and without compulsion. The philosopher thus wanted everyone to create their own “ecosophie” (ecological philosophy), without completely altering their own habits.

 

Mathilde Ramadier's book is a portrait of a man driven by his sensitivity and empathy.

 

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Research in Oslo

Several visits to Norway, notably Oslo and the Lofoten archipelago, allowed Mathilde Ramadier to take a practical, documentary approach to the writing of several works dedicated to the ecologist.

 

First there is her translation of Arne Næss' most famous texts, anthologized in An Ecosophie for Life, then the graphic novel And He Treads Lightly Upon The Earth in collaboration with Laurent Bonneau for the drawings, and finally the ecologist's biography – Arne Næss, for a Joyful Ecology.

 

To dig deeper into her subject, Mathilde Ramadier learned Norwegian and approached researchers at The Oslo University of Philosophy who work on this author.

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Inspiration from Norway

Mathilde Ramadier discovered the existence of Arne Næss, a colourful character and national icon who is almost unknown in France during a trip to Norway. She became fascinated by his work.

 

At a time when environmental problems are endangering our beautiful planet, she saw Arne Næss as truly a forefather of environmentalist thinking – his first works on the subject dating back to the 1970s.

 

While his legacy continues to this day in Norway thanks in particular to the Arne Næss Philosophical and Ecological Centre created in 1998, Mathilde Ramadier believed that his thinking should be shared with the rest of the world and decided to write about it for France.

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The Institut français and the project

Winner of an Institut français Stendhal Residency, Mathilde Ramadier was in Oslo for one month in January 2017.

 

The Stendhal programme allows French authors or authors living in France to travel to a foreign country and work on a writing project related to that country.