The researcher

Louise Romain, digital anthropologist and activist-researcher

Circle of Voices is my offering after these past years of exploration. It is my way to bring change, hope, and mutual understanding between peoples. It is my attempt to gain recognition, acceptance and give meaning to my life. I believe academic research has a role to play in enacting social and political change. I’m convinced that technology and the arts can enhance the dynamic relationship between academia and activism.

picture taken in Manawan by Marie Kristine Petiquay

More and more these past years, I’ve been defining myself through my work. Being a researcher, I aim to cultivate a vision, a sense of dedication and a practice of collaboration. Circle of Voices has been the first meaningful culmination of all that.

I grew up in a suburban town near Paris, where I never really had to worry. I left the familiar nest at 18 to begin my own adventure in Berlin. I started studying socio-cultural anthropology, and it seemed to be a scholarly way to nurture my curiosity about the diversity of human cultures in the world. The need to belong to vibrant communities gradually took more meaning in my life. First, by becoming a festival organizer and co-founder of the Serendubity Festival in Germany, and later by supporting the co-creation of the educational program School Of All Relations in Greece. Along the way, I developed a passion for multilingualism, photography, dancing, group facilitation, and writing. My economic privileges and my thirst for adventure allowed me to travel to stunning places on different continents, and encounter truly inspiring individuals. As part of my studies, I ended up living on Reunion island for half a year, and a year later in Montreal, Quebec. For the first time, I could apply my knowledge into practice in the setting of an ethnographic fieldwork. While doing my work, I was confronted with the painful heritage left by the former members of my vocation and my country. I came to realize what academia couldn’t teach me and I began carving my own learning path. Back in Europe, I got involved in the NoDAPL movement, and initiated a local mobilization in Berlin to support indigenous sovereignty and climate justice. My academic journey continued in Copenhagen (Denmark) where I pursued a Master in Techno-Anthropology. My thesis is accessible here

MK and Louise in Odanak, taken by Catherine Boivin

Poem written half way through my fieldwork at Web of Change 2016

I heard a call and so, I showed up:
Leaving home, crossing the ocean
Hungry for learning, the heart full of passion
Coming on this land, with a big vision,
Not quite ready to meet that bitter illusion
How ignorant was I...
while starting this journey
How innocent am I...
Fuck, I had no idea.

I heard a call and so, I listened:
To the ways the stories were told
To the tragedies where too much was sold
Now, I honor how we are all so bold
And I wonder how we can, together, grow old.

I heard a call and so, I stepped in!
Into this fascinating community
Where it isn't only about love, peace and harmony
Where we share what hurts and what feels wrong,
Enabling us to trully bound.

Questioning my (his)story
Feeling unsettled in this fragmented reality
Pushing me to re-frame my identity
Simply being challenged by life's fertility

I am thankful for the gifts,
The former, the present and the future ones
I am thankful for the relationships,
The former, the present and the future ones

So let's rise with hope and mutual understanding
Let's go face the world, open to healing
Transform it into a better place to live in
For all coming generations and all forms of being

self-portrait, Odanak, face paint by Marie Kristine