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Pierre-François Moreau | School

PRIVATE 56, p. 3
PRIVATE 56, p. 3, introduction by Pierre-François Moreau

Good news, it infuses this issue with a sense of joy, and with an aspect of carefree childhood seized in flight. There is a feeling of solemnity, but a tender solemnity. An innocence that confronts the world, its difficulties and the trials of study, but it is amusing, happy, and touching. It shows the simplicity of gestures, attitudes and looks. It also shows concentration, astonishment and satisfaction. We hear cries, laughter, and from time to time the chanting of multiplication tables. Finally, no matter what situations these pictures bring to mind, the colors, the ambiance, the digital technique or the simple combination of chalk and blackboard, the spirit is the same.

In fact, these images impart the universal human cycle. This cycle is there in action. Without doubt, it is about passing on the most beautiful thing that the animal world possesses in its genes, and that man has learnt to perfect. This transmission suggests future and continuity; a happy principle. Elementary school, the time before selfishness, greed and an indifference for others becomes ingrained, or otherwise invested as a necessity against the competition of others; the ruthless devil of the other. Teaching is sharing in action. Beyond the clarity, the formal beauty of many of these pictures, in such different places and contexts, we feel relieved to be looking and observing this gesture. We are reminded that knowledge is hope no matter where we find ourselves. The only true hope.

But beware, dear readers, demanding that we are. This does not diminish our vigilance, does not conceal other more bitter, less glorious truths, that breed in our world. We know that deprivation of schools doesn’t only produce ignorance, it often leads to the exploitation of children, industrial, sexual or military exploitation. In such cases, we know their grim expressions, their sweat, their tears. In contrast, we know that school is freedom, but also a convincing sign of peace. Some of these images underline this clearly, or by implication. Schools are always the first victims of conflict.

No, we are not fooled. But with this issue of PRIVATE we would like to celebrate these little moments of grace.

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