I Learn Library

A human library inspired by the stories in the film

We all have a story.

By Magalie  |   From : Saint-Denis France  |   School : Suger High School

Hello, it’s Magalie.

While I am talking to you, today, exactly, it is my birthday and I’m 17 years old on the dot. I live in the 93 region, in Tremblay-en-France, next to Paris, but I study in Suger highschool, in Saint-Denis.Yes! But every morning and every evening I have a one hour round trip to go to school and back home. I go here to learn Italian, become bilingual because I am in a bilingual section. For some time, in English class, we have worked on Jean-Michel Dissard and his movie « I Learn America ». Yesterday, we met him, we exchanged together. And then we decided to do the same as the 5 teenagers in his movie and tell our own story because he said « we have all a story ».

At the beginning, I thought I had no interesting story as compared to theirs, because I live in France, I was born in France, my parents were born in France, so I can’t talk about immigration because I’m not concerned. But I can try to talk about this, and about my life.

When I say « I’m not concerned by immigration », maybe it’s untrue.

I grew up in the 93 region, in the Parisian suburb. And here, immigration is everywhere, so I know the subject well. Sometimes, I feel like an intruder because I’m white and red-haired. All my friends have an origin, a different culture, but I don’t.. My mother comes from Brittany (not the UK, Brittany in France). No surprise, I just know Brittany and Paris. No surprise, I just know France. And even if my parents decided to live there in Britanny, I know that my heart is and will stay in Paris. I am definitely French as you can see !

I can talk about racism, because I think it’s important for me to talk about this, because it follows us every day. When I say « us », I say for my friends, and people I like. Because in the capital we form a melting pot as a whole, and for me, mixing and being with other people different from us is very important. I was born and I grew up here, with white people, dark skinned people, Chinese people, Arabic people… Racism, we discover it on TV, and what they say on TV about my place is not necessarily true, and it was  important for me to talk about it and those prejudices for you not to trust everything you hear about the suburb and question yourself.

I think I can talk to you about my family. I have a big brother who is 24 years old. In my family, they are all Christian except for me and my bro’. Why? Personally because I don’t believe in God, but I don’t criticize those who practice religion. We need all kinds of different people to make our world. I’m rather realistic and open-minded. Some people can say « I’m too much », but it’s me. This is how I grew up, how I was born and raised.

As a whole, I like this work of telling stories, because it helps us, to better understand ourselves. I sometimes ask myself too many questions but I don’t ask them to other people, because I don’t know whom to ask them to. I miss something, a person to trust with my stories perhaps. I miss something to be happy but I don’t know what. I live well, I’m not luckless thanks to my parents and my surroundings, but I can’t say I’m entirely satisfied of my life. Why? I don’t have the answer. Writing this letter liberates me a little. So, I hope to continue to exchange because talking (writing) makes me feel good. Here I told you about me, I don’t know if it was interesting for you, but I hope it was. Thank you for reading me. Goodbye !

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