Roots to Routes
16 October, 2021

(Dis)covering … Mountains
with Flo Kasearu and Sara Bédard-Goulet

Park de La Barasse,
13011 Marseille

“Three sources led to journeys among the people settled on the ruins of the Roman Empire: the zeal of religion, the ardour of conquest, the spirit of adventure and enterprise, mixed with the greed of commerce. What drives us to travel today? What kind of traveler can one be in this world?”

(Extract from the pocket book (Dis)covering … Mountains, p. 14)

The walk-performance (Dis)covering … Mountains takes its name from a pocket book artist Flo Kasearu and researcher Sara Bédard-Goulet created in collaboration with each other, published in English and French towards the end of 2020 as part of the Roots to Routes programme. The book explores an epic journey to Marseille amidst the coronavirus outbreak, embarking on various places along the route until reaching the end destination at Park de la Barasse. (Dis)covering … Mountains is partly about an imaginary journey which, through travel writing and drawings, describes the hidden culture and landscape of the Park de la Barasse, known above all for its toxic red mountains.

The walk-performance guided by Flo Kasearu and Sara Bédard-Goulet took place at Park de la Barasse (departure at the park entrance from 14:30). Participants received a copy of the pocket book and were invited to walk and gather in the park for a performative reading. The event ended with an aperitif in the company of the performers.

On Thursday, October 14 at 14:00 Flo Kasearu and Sara Bédard-Goulet had a talk as part of the Images in transit seminar at the Laboratory of Arts Studies at the Aix-Marseille University.

Flo Kasearu lives and works in Tallinn in the Flo Kasearu House Museum which she established in 2013. Her activity-based practice takes on the form of videos, photography, painting and installations. Her works are seasonal and explorative, dissecting problems at a grassroots level and dealing with topics such as freedom, patriotism and nationalism, domestic violence, and the tension between public and private spaces. Often working in a fast and reactionary way, Flo Kasearu reacts to different social processes with a refined sense of humour, as well as often elevating seemingly mundane biographical events into works of art.

Sara Bédard-Goulet is ASTRA Professor of Romance Studies at the College of Foreign Languages and Cultures of the University of Tartu, Estonia. Her main research interests in the field of contemporary French-language literature include reader-response theories, literature and psychoanalysis, ecocriticism and geopoetics. She is currently co-editing a collection of articles about representations of northern forests and working on a monograph on contemporary dwelling in the novels of French author Jean Echenoz. She has led a SSHRC-funded research-creation project on bodies and space and is currently leading a research-creation project on response events to cultural productions funded by the Faculty of Humanities and Arts of the University of Tartu, as well as a Nordplus-funded higher education project to enhance Canadian Studies in the Baltic and Nordic countries.

In collaboration with Le Bureau des guides.

(Dis)covering … Mountains was supported by Estonian Embassy in Paris.